The nationally-ranked No. 5 Yale women’s sailing team proved its mettle this weekend, dominating the competition at home in the Yale Women’s Intersectional.
Their first place finish qualified the Elis for the Atlantic Coast Championships which will be held Nov. 15 and 16 at Old Dominion University.
The Elis scored 53 points, half as many as second place Dartmouth. In fleet racing, the team with the fewest number of points wins. Julie Papanek ’05 and crew Meredith Killion ’05 finished 2nd in A division, eight points behind Brown. But the real story was the performance Molly Carapiet ’06 and Jenn Hoyle ’05 put up in B division, winning all but three of 10 races and finishing 42 points ahead of the next team to finish.
Papanek compared the score differentials from this weekend to basketball. In basketball, a three point difference is a close game and a 50 point victory is a blowout. The same goes for sailing.
“Getting second place in A division was great, but Molly [Carapiet] was just incredible,” Papanek said. “Molly’s finishes show she could do just as well as I did in A division. It was cool that Molly realized early on how it was possible not only for her to win her fleet but also to completely dominate.”
In the three races she did not win, Carapiet had two second place finishes and one fourth place finish, out of a field of 19.
Kate Littlefield ’04, the co-ed team captain, said the home-turf advantage was not the only edge the Elis had in the regatta.
“I think that it was wonderful that we got to sail on our own turf,” Littlefield said. “But Molly and Julie sailed really smart. They didn’t make any mistakes, and that’s how you win regattas. We’re finally getting results that reflect the talent we have on our team.”
Papanek, however, told a different story about Yale’s domination. Papanek and Carapiet have been sailing in coed events for most of the fall, and Papanek said she thought the higher level of competition in the male-dominated co-ed events allowed them to perform at a higher level when they returned to women’s sailing.
“Our women’s team has more depth than any other team in New England, and it’s obviously showing,” Papanek said. “The transition for Molly and I back to women’s sailing has allowed us to pull off more sophisticated moves and be calmer in certain situations — it’s kind of interesting that we’ve been sailing so many women’s events that we come back into women’s sailing and can completely dominate.”
Papanek also said Killion and Hoyle deserved a lot of the credit for the victory.
“Our crews did a fantastic job,” Papanek said. “The high technical skill of Jenn and Meredith made a huge difference — they were a huge contribution to our win. This weekend’s conditions were do-or-die for crew work, so they were a huge part of why we did so well.”
While the women’s team was dominating at home, two freshmen and one sophomore skipper were showcasing their potential at the Sharpe Trophy team race at Brown. The race was a team race, as opposed to the more traditional fleet racing style.
In standard fleet racing, each school sends an A and B boat, whose scores are combined for the final result. One point is awarded for first, two for second, three for third and so on, with the lowest combined score winning.
In team racing, schools send three boats each to compete in either single or double round robin races.
Phil Stemler ’07, Matt Barry ’07 and Eivind Karlsen ’06 worked with crews Littlefield, Courtney Cox ’06, and Hannah Oakland ’07 to sail to a 6-4, third place finish.
Yale sailors also traveled to the Southern Series Six junior varsity race at Connecticut College in New London on Oct. 18, where they finished fourth in a field of seven. Benoit Bewley ’05 and Marie Bewley ’04 traded off skipper and crew spots to finish third in A division and Eric Steinlauf ’05 and crew Laura Brenner ’05 finished sixth in B division. Both divisions sailed nine races in shifty, light air.