The No. 12 sailing team may have wished that day two’s results were the only ones that counted — because if they did not have to count both Saturday’s and Sunday’s performances, they might have captured the Navy Fall Intersectional in Annapolis, Md.
After finishing day one in ninth place, the Bulldogs had a day of outstanding performances on Sunday to vault into fourth place overall with 551 points. Racing in winds that were challenging to deal with, especially on day two, King’s Point edged St. Mary’s for first place, with the teams earning 494 and 495 points, respectively.
Captain Matt Barry ’07 said he is pleased with the way the weekend ended up for the Elis.
“We did okay Saturday but on Sunday we rallied and came back,” he said. “I would say we try to deal with races on a race-by-race basis. If we focus on our past performance, we psyche ourselves out and you will fulfil your own prophecy. The team did extremely well.”
Barry raced in the C division, in which sailors raced single-handed standard lasers. Because of the strong winds, Barry had to deal with three equipment breakdowns, including a broken mast. A sailor receives his average score for the race with the breakdown. Despite this, Barry still performed well enough to take third individually with 106 points.
“I was pretty happy about my performance,” Barry said. “I beat a lot of people who I am normally very competitive with.”
Barry said the regatta, like regattas at the other government academies such as the United States Coast Guard Academy, was special in that it featured two divisions of double-handed boats and two divisions of lasers. Barry said the Midshipmen have a large fleet that includes many lasers, making it possible to have the different kinds of races that were held this weekend.
In the A division, skipper Zach Brown ’08 sailed mostly with Sarah Himmelfarb ’06. The pair finished in fourth. Himmelfarb said she and Brown had less trouble with the strong gusts on Sunday than with Saturday’s conditions.
“I think we all had kind of frustrating days when the conditions were more moderate on Saturday, but when it got more breezy we were all able to make amazing gains on the other teams,” she said. “Saturday wasn’t a disaster, but things were not clicking, at least for me and Zack. It was also difficult to get coaching on the water. You were on the water the entire time, so you had to come into the dock to get coaching and risk being late for the next start.”
Skipper Phil Stemler ’07 took the helm in the B division. He switched crews from Abby Coplin ’08 to Giovanni Zevi Della Porta ’07, his heavy crew, when the winds picked up Sunday. Stemler and his crews ended up missing third place by only one point, as Charleston edged the Elis with 125 points.
Coplin said the team knew it had to step up on Sunday, regardless of whether they had the advantage in the intense winds.
“It was such extreme conditions that you had to be extreme yourself to cope,” Coplin said. “Zack and Sarah were one of the lightest, and should have been getting passed, but they were really on top of things and sailed smart. Phil sailed with [Zevi Della Porta] and they had a strong combined weight which allowed them to fly by other boats.”
Zevi Della Porta attributed the second day’s successes to the Bulldogs’ superior training.
“When the wind came up, most of the other competition didn’t know how to deal with it, but we did exactly the same as what happened at the women’s event here at Yale [this weekend],” he said. “Once the stronger wind came up we just dominated.”
To round out the Elis’ line-up, Jane Macky ’09 was one of a few women who raced a radial laser in the D division. Macky, a qualifier for the North American Women’s Singlehanded Championships, came in 12th with 183 points.
While the Bulldogs were racing to some successes in Maryland, the rest of the co-ed team struggled at the Wood Trophy Regatta in Hanover, N.H. The Elis finished 10th out of 12 schools. After no wind on the first day, there was too much wind on day two.
“We were consistently on the wrong side of the course,” Rufus Peabody ’08 said. “It was very shifty conditions and we weren’t getting the right shift. When it got heavy, nobody was really consistent. Overall it was a disappointing finish.”