SAILING | Women’s sailing takes first on Charles River

The coed sailing team faced difficult conditions in the Marchiando Friis Team Race hosted by Tufts.
The coed sailing team faced difficult conditions in the Marchiando Friis Team Race hosted by Tufts. Photo by Zeenat Mansoor.

The No. 3 women’s sailing team attained its first top finish this season last weekend when it captured the President’s Trophy Intersectional Regatta hosted by Boston University. Meanwhile, at the Marchiando Friis Team Race hosted by Tufts, the No. 1 coed team slipped following its three-weekend winning streak, taking second.

After falling from its No. 1 national ranking at the start of the season, the women’s team rebounded with the 34-point victory on the Charles River.

The coed team competed in two sailing regattas over the weekend, earning second place at the Marchiando and Friis Trophies on Mystic Lake in Medford, Mass., where they lost to Boston College by a single race. The coed team finished fourth at the Admiral Alymers Trophy hosted by Massachusetts Maritime Academy on Great Herring Pond in Buzzards Bay, Mass. From the sailors’ perspective, consistency was the dominant factor in their strong performances.

“[We] had great communication about the conditions between sets, which helped lead to our consistency,” skipper Marlena Fauer ’14 said.

In its fleet race, the women’s team competed with a single boat in the A and B divisions, each racing against the 12 boats representing the other colleges in that division. Fauer and crew Eugenia Greig ’14 took second in the A division with 40 points to Bowdoin College’s 38, and Morgan Kiss ’15 and Amanda Salvesen ’14 captured the B division with 31 points for an 11-point margin over the University of Vermont and Boston University.

“I think that we stayed very level headed throughout the regatta, which is very difficult to do on the Charles River,” Fauer said. “It’s a very puffy and shifty venue, so it was really important not to be phased by unexpected changes.”

Saturday afternoon brought a strong northerly wind that caused three boats to capsize but soon gave way to an easterly breeze.

Sailing head coach Zachary Leonard ’89 said he is pleased with the performance, though he added that the regatta’s participants did not include all the top competitors. He said he is more concerned about the ability of the teams to learn and train from the regattas than about their results.

“[Our teams] are trying to improve their skills through these races, and they did a pretty good job this weekend,” Leonard said.

Fauer agreed, adding that the team is not as concerned about its rankings at each regatta as it is about building experience in preparation for the ICSA National Championships. This year, the championships will be held from May 30 to June 8 in Austin, Texas.

In the Marchiando Friis Team Race, the coed team came close to victory despite facing “tricky” conditions, crew Heather May ’13 said. In a team race, a team of three boats from one school races three boats from another, and a race is won by finishing in such a way that the sum of the team’s places is smaller than that of the other team’s.

May said that the lake venue created sailing conditions quite different than those they face in practices along the coast of the Long Island Sound. Saturday brought a 10 to 20 knot northerly wind followed by an east-southeast breeze of five to 12 knots, while Sunday’s northwest breezes ranged from five to 18 knots.

May added that the team dynamic was less familiar since the team members competed with different pairings than those they typically have in practice. Skipper Graham Landy ’15 substituted for Joe Morris ’12. However, she said their strong performance assured her that next year, the team will still remain competitive after veterans like Morris graduate.

Next weekend, the coed team will compete at the New England Dinghy Championships at Harvard, which serves as a qualifier for the ICSA National Championships. The Bulldogs will also participate in the Oberg Trophy at Boston University and host the Short Beach Invitational in Branford, Conn. The women’s team is wrapping up its season, with the Emily Wick Trophy next weekend and concluding with the Women’s New England Championship the week after, which also serves as a qualifier for the national championships.

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