SAILING: Light winds slow sailing

Amid the cold, wet blast that ripped through New England this weekend, the Bulldog sailors took to the seas.

The coed team placed sixth at the Captain Hurst Bowl, fourth at the Norm Reid Trophy and 11th at the Great Herring Pond Open. The women’s team placed first at the Yale Women’s Fall Intersectional at the McNay Family Sailing Center in Branford.

“Sailing is one of those sports where you never know what you’ll get with the weather,” Blair Belling ’11 said. “It’s a very big reality of the sport — maybe this is good for our patience.”

Sailing in 420s, the women’s team bested second-place finisher Boston College by five points for the weekend’s win.

In the A division, Sarah Lihan ’10 and Elizabeth Brim ’11 placed second with 52 points in 10 races. The duo placed in the top-10 eight times and had seven top-five finishes.

In the B division, Claire Dennis ’13, Heather May ’13 and Genoa Warner ’12 sailed to a fourth-place finish. Dennis and May began and ended the regatta, but Warner, who specializes in light wind conditions, crewed for races three through seven. The trio won one race and finished in the top-10 nine times out of 10 races.

“Unfortunately there were some horrible conditions in that it was cold and rainy,” May said. “But with the right clothing you forget about the weather and focus on the race.”

Also competing were No. 1 Old Dominion, No. 2 Boston College, No. 3 Brown and No. 4 College of Charleston. The Elis were ranked fifth coming into the weekend, but are expected to rise in the national rankings that will be released on Wednesday.

On the edges of the storm system that blanketed the New England seaboard, winds were dead throughout the competition, but closer to the center of the storm breezes gusted over 40 knots.

The Captain Hurst Bowl at Dartmouth saw light winds that only permitted four races for the coeds. With even colder temperatures Sunday, the wind started out dead but picked up enough for three races by midafternoon.

Joe Morris ’12 and Marla Menninger ’10 barely beat University of Vermont by one point in the A division. The duo had one win over four races.

“I think Marla and I did a good job coming back from the races we didn’t start so well,” Morris said. “In the last race in a division we had a little bit of a battle to win against the University of Vermont. We had a fun and difficult time sailing against them.”

In the B division, Rob Struckett ’12 and Belling earned 63 points and a 17th-place finish. Dartmouth won the event with 39 points and the Elis finished sixth overall with 68 points.

“It was very cold at Dartmouth and we didn’t really have enough wind or a steady enough breeze,” Belling said. “Rob and I were on the water for three hours on Saturday [before sailing one race] — it was hard to keep up the energy.”

At Boston College, the Elis faced the brunt of the weather at the Norm Reid Trophy. This was a team race, meaning that instead of the usual A and B divisions with one boat per school, two colleges race each other at one time with three boats per school. In the six-school team race, the Bulldogs went 4–6 and earned fourth place.

In the far end of Massachusetts, the Great Herring Pond Open saw gusty conditions that were quick to change and difficult to judge. Both the A and B divisions completed eight races Saturday, but a high wind advisory Sunday morning canceled the day’s races.

In the A division, Emily Billing ’13 and Margot Benedict ’12 placed seventh and in the B division, Rafael Fernandez ’13 and Grace Zimmerly ’13 placed 16th. The Blue finished 11th overall with 176 points. Salve Regina University won the event with 43 points.

Next weekend, the coed team will compete in the Sherman Hoyt Trophy at Brown, the Oberg Trophy at MIT and the Southern Series Seven Event at the McNay Family Sailing Center at Yale. The women sailors will race in the Stu Nelson Trophy at Connecticut College.

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