SAILING | Bulldogs build momentum

The coed sailing team competed in the Admiral’s Cup hosted by King’s Point Merchant Marine Academy and finished fourth overall.
The coed sailing team competed in the Admiral’s Cup hosted by King’s Point Merchant Marine Academy and finished fourth overall. Photo by Zeenat Mansoor.

While the Boston Marathon bombings forced the Women’s New England Championships to be postponed, the coed sailors nevertheless headed to New York to compete in the Admiral’s Cup, finishing fourth overall in the competitive field.

Hosted by King’s Point Merchant Marine Academy, the Admiral’s Cup marked the final intersectional regatta of the spring, with only two events — the ICSA Semifinal Dinghy Championships and Nationals — remaining on the Elis’ calendar. The event was raced in a three-division format, with two double-handed divisions and one single-handed division, which forced the Bulldogs to showcase their depth in a variety of sailing formats. They did just that, finishing in the top-five in each of the divisions to place fourth overall in the event.

Crew Charlotte Belling ’16 said that the cancellation of the women’s regatta turned out to be beneficial for the coeds.

“Because the women’s regatta was canceled, we were lucky enough to have some really talented crews, Eugenia Custo Grieg ’15 and Amanda Salvesen ’14, with us,” she said.

Skipper Cameron Cullman ’13, sailing variably with crews Salvesen, Custo Grieg and Belling, placed second in the A division. Salvesen and Custo Grieg also sailed in the B division with skipper Max Nickbarg ’15, finishing fifth. Eric Anderson ’16, sailing in his first intersectional regatta for the coed team, placed fifth in the single-handed division.

Unlike previous weekends that saw capricious winds and regular postponements, a steady 15-18 knot breeze and strong current allowed the race committee to sail all 15 races in each division on Saturday.

Kate Gaumond ’15, who is a member of the women’s team and did not participate in the Admiral’s Cup, said, however, that strong winds and choppy conditions play to the Bulldogs’ advantage.

“Our venue where we practice is known for heavier wind and big waves so we usually have a big boat speed advantage in those types of conditions,” she said.

Custo Grieg added that the Elis performed well in windy conditions due to their ability to pick patterns out in the wind and adjust weight distribution in the boats depending on the size of the waves.

“Unlike at shifty venues where patterns never really develop, with a 15 knot median breeze at King’s Point it was important for us to pick up on repeating (wind) patterns,” she said.

Last weekend, the coed team fell to No. 6 nationally due to a disappointing performance at Brown. The Elis finished in sixth place at the New England Dinghy Championship on April 13.

Custo Grieg added that the team is hungry to prove itself again.

“The New England Dinghy Championships was a hard regatta for us as we were losing to teams that we had been beating all year, but our perseverance through that tough weekend got us a spot at Semifinals where we will be able to prove ourselves again,” Custo Grieg said.

This weekend the team travels to Norfolk, Va., to compete in the ICSA Semifinal Dinghy Championship hoping to qualify for Nationals. The women’s New England Championship has been rescheduled to this weekend as well and will be hosted by Tufts University on Mystic Lake.

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