Despite receiving stellar performances from their top sailors, the Eli mariners managed only a middle-of-the-pack finish over the weekend.
The coed sailing team took 10th place at the Nevins Trophy at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y. The host U.S. Merchant Marine squad won the regatta by 67 points over second place Hobart.
Despite the Bulldogs’ low overall finish, team captain and A division skipper Stu McNay ’04 and crew member Kate Littlefield ’04 triumphed in the top flight of the regatta.
“Kate and I were very pleased with how we sailed,” McNay said. “All of the top Middle Atlantic teams competed including Dartmouth, last weekend’s regatta winner, so the victory was satisfying.”
Part of the reason for the Eli sailors’ 10th-place finish in the 20-team field was due to the regatta being a three division instead of a two division race. A and B division races were sailed in V-15s and FJs, while C division competitors sailed in Lasers.
“Our team is not yet ready for [the three division event],” McNay said. “Commodore Mike Renda ’04 boldly stepped into his first varsity event by sailing the Laser.”
Sailing in winds between 8 and 15 knots, McNay and Littlefield narrowly won A division by two points over Dartmouth, who finished sixth overall. In the 20 races that McNay and Littlefield sailed, the Yale pair won twice and finished second on four occasions.
Brandon Wall ’03 and Meredith Killion ’05 navigated the Bulldogs to seventh place in B division, winning one race and placing in the top five in five others. Renda, who sailed single-handed with only one day of practice, took 16th in C division.
While the coed team sailed at Kings Point, the women’s team raced to a sixth-place finish in the Mrs. Hurst Bowl at Dartmouth. Eighteen teams competed in a field consisting of many of the best women skippers from South Florida and the northeast region.
A weekend that saw the wind dip as low as 2 knots made for trying racing conditions and only allowed for six races in both A and B divisions as compared to the usual 16 to 20.
The Eli women got off to a fast start on Day One and led the regatta at the end of Saturday’s races. But poor performances in both A and B divisions led to a significant drop in the standings on the final day.
“After the first day, we were all very excited because we were winning the regatta,” A division skipper Julie Papanek ’05 said. “But, on the second day, only one set was sailed and both A and B divisions did much worse because of penalties and being over early.”
Papanek and crew member Melissa Wisner ’05 sailed to a sixth-place finish in A division, while skipper Molly Carapiet ’06 and crew member Sarah Himmelfarb ’06 took eighth in the B division.
Despite the Bulldogs’ poor finish in the regatta, Carapiet is confident about Yale’s chances.
“I think our women’s team is doing well,” Carapiet said. “Even though we ended up placing sixth in the regatta, we showed potential by doing well on Saturday.”
Four Elis — Marie Bewley ’04, Jackie Wong ’04, Benoit Bewley ’05 and Katie Baker ’05 — sailed and won at home over the weekend in the Invite at Yale. With a third-place finish in A division and a victory in B division, the Bulldogs managed to sneak past Connecticut College for the top spot in the regatta.
This weekend the coed team will head to the Hood Trophy at Tufts. The women’s team will travel to Boston to race in the Metro Series at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Women’s President Trophy at Boston University.