Bulldog sailors had mixed results in tough conditions at home and in Boston this weekend.
Yale cruised to a fourth-place finish at home at the Ted Ferrarone Team Race April 10-11, while two freshman women’s skippers finished in the middle of the pack at the President’s Trophy at Boston University.
Finishing fourth out of 11 teams in the regatta, the Elis showed a marked improvement since their last team race, the Marchiando, on March 27-28, when the team placed sixth of 10.
Molly Carapiet ’06, Phil Stemler ’07, Matt Barry ’07 and Eivind Karlsen ’06 skippered in the team race, rotating in and out of the three boats. In team racing, schools send three boats each that compete in single or double round-robin races. Winners and losers in team racing are determined by win-loss record in the regatta, with head-to-head races as the tiebreaker.
Team racing is often far more strategic than fleet racing, in which each school sends an A and B boat, whose scores are combined for the final result. Instead of trying to have their individual boat finish as well as possible, team racers try to make plays and come up with a winning combination of finishes for their three boats that beats the other team’s three boats.
Jen Hoyle ’05, Meredith Killion ’05, Hannah Oakland ’07 and Courtney Cox ’06 crewed for Carapiet, Stemler, Barry and Karlsen, respectively, in the team race.
Stemler said he thought the team showed great improvement in team racing.
“I was very encouraged by how the team sailed since our last team race,” Stemler said. “Our team has come a long way in a short time, so I’m pretty excited, and I’m waiting to see what we can do at [the New England Team Racing Championships] in a couple weeks.”
The conditions were shifty and puffy throughout the weekend, but Stemler said sailing at home and having experience with the choppy water near the Yale Corinthian Yacht Club gave the Bulldogs a leg up in the regatta.
“This weekend was kind of atypical for the winds we usually get here, but it definitely played out to our advantage,” Stemler said. “We were able to use our experience with kind of choppy water over long courses to our benefit. That’s what we kind of specialize in here, and it helped us out against teams that usually sail on flat water.”
Although the team’s 7-3 record was not enough for a first-place finish (No. 3 Hobart and William Smith won with a 9-1 record), Stemler deemed the regatta a success.
“We kind of got hurt by a couple of minor mistakes, but we’re doing the big things that are hard to do right most of the time,” Stemler said. “We’re recognizing the correct play, and we’re able to execute it most of the time.”
While most of the Yale team was defending its home waters, freshman skippers Emily Hill ’07 and Kendra Emhiser ’07 traveled with crews Meghan Pearl ’06 and Natalie Kitchen ’05 to Boston University to participate in the Women’s President’s Trophy.
Hill and Pearl finished eighth in A division, and Emhiser and Kitchen finished fifth in B division. Yale finished seventh of 15 overall.
Emhiser said it was a tough weekend for her and Hill. The pair was coming off a second-place finish at last week’s Joe Duplin Trophy at Tufts.
“This is definitely one of the toughest weekends we’ve had,” Emhiser said. “The conditions were very difficult — it was very shifty with a lot of changes in wind velocity. Our biggest problem, however, was inconsistency.”
The competition at the President’s Trophy was especially tough because Boston University is where the qualifiers for the women’s national championships will be — a fact that led many teams to send their top female skippers to the regatta. Carapiet, the top women’s sailor on the Yale team, did not participate, so Hill and Emhiser were left to compete against some of the best female sailors in the Northeast.
“A lot of teams sent their top women, so it was a very competitive fleet, and we struggled a little bit because of that,” Emhiser said. “But we still had some very good moments, and we still showed we could compete against the top sailors in the area. It wasn’t our best regatta, but we still learned a lot from it, and sailing against the top girls was helpful and a good experience for us.”