SAILING | Frustrating weekend for No. 1 sailors

The No. 1 coed sailing team competed at the Hatch Brown Trophy, the Nevins Trophy and the Boston Harbor Invitational last weekend and was unable to secure a finish higher than eighth.
The No. 1 coed sailing team competed at the Hatch Brown Trophy, the Nevins Trophy and the Boston Harbor Invitational last weekend and was unable to secure a finish higher than eighth. Photo by Zeenat Mansoor.

Although the women’s and coed sailing teams came into the weekend with the high of No. 1 rankings, the women barely got a chance to back up that mark as a lack of wind limited its sailing, while the coeds struggled in its three regattas, finishing no higher than eighth. Each coed regatta featured 20 or fewer teams.

The sailing teams will be away again next weekend, travelling to Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
The sailing teams will be away again next weekend, travelling to Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

The coed sailing team was active on three fronts, finishing 11th at the Hatch Brown Trophy hosted by MIT, 10th at the Nevins Trophy in Kings Point, N.Y., and eighth at the Boston College-hosted Boston Harbor Invitational. Despite racing so little, the women’s team managed a second-place finish at the Mrs. Hurst Bowl in Hanover, N.H.

The Hatch Brown Trophy in Cambridge, Mass., is unusual because it is sailed in three divisions instead of the usual two. In the regatta’s A division, skipper Chris Segerblom ’14 and crew Isabel Elliman ’12 finished 16th of 18, with six top-10 finishes. It was an especially disappointing result for Segerblom, coming off a week in which he and teammates Margot Benedict ’12 and Heather May ’13 were named the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association’s coed sailors of the week.

Elliman cited the harsh conditions on the Charles as a major reason behind the pair’s struggle.

“The Charles is a really tricky venue and the conditions usually aren’t that stable,” Elliman said. “You can’t tame the Charles. I think we learned that this weekend.”

In the C division of the same regatta, skipper Claire Dennis ’13 and crew Heather May ’13 faced tough competition and finished eighth despite ending the day just seven points out of third place after grabbing 13 top-10 finishes out of 16 total races.

At the Nevins Trophy in Kings Point, N.Y., which was also sailed in three divisions, freshman skipper Graham Landy ’15 made his collegiate sailing debut, turning in the best result of the weekend for the coed team. Despite a nervy start, including a 15th- and 14th-place finish on his first two races, Landy finished fourth in the A division, aided by crews Will Feldman ’14 and Eugenia Custo Grieg ’14.

“I think I sailed well considering it was my first weekend, but there were certainly some elements of rust that showed,” Landy said. “Moving forward, I’ll continue to get better very quickly and work hard to get to the top level.”

In the C division, which was sailed in Lasers, a boat used in few regattas, Max Nickbarg ’14 looked to build on the experience he accrued over the summer on the European sailing circuit. But this weekend, despite some high finishes early in the regatta and strong starts throughout, Nickbarg managed only 11th place. Nickbarg chalked up his struggles to his inability to “stay in phase with the shifts,” meaning he was unable to catch the wind from an optimal angle.

To round out the weekend, at the Boston Harbor Invitational in Boston, Mass., the coed team gathered a fourth-place finish in the A division and an eighth-place finish in the B division, good enough for eighth overall.

The women’s team was the victim of a dearth of wind, which restricted the Mrs. Hurst Bowl to just four races on Saturday. Through those four races, though, the Bulldogs placed second overall, just two points behind first place. Marlena Fauer ’14 skippered in the B division and finished second in that group. Fauer thought that she and crew Kate Gaumond ’15 could have finished even higher had there not been such spotty wind. Fauer said that towards the end of two of the four races, she and Gaumond were among the top three, only to have the wind disappear and return to the advantage of the trailing teams, who eventually overtook them.

There was one absence of note from the coed team: the Bulldogs were deprived this weekend of captain and senior skipper Joe Morris ’12, whose attendance was required at the wedding of his sister.

Next weekend, the coed and women’s sailing teams will send sailors to regattas in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

Comments

  • howardn

    Sounds like a good weekend. We had a lot of sailors out on the water. Got to sail in some very tricky conditions. And the Women’s team sailed a great finish in light air. Some weeks are more for experience, others will have much more at stake. Go Yale, Go YCYC.