The wind doesn’t always blow your way, even for national champions.
The No. 13 coed sailing team and ICSA North American single-handed champ Molly Carapiet ’06 had a tough weekend in difficult conditions, finishing eighth of 20 overall at the massive Truxtun Umsted Regatta at Navy on March 20.
Carapiet, who recently finished her term as women’s captain, said she knew everyone tried hard but wished that the results better reflected the effort.
“The team could have done better,” she said. “It was really tricky conditions all weekend, but everyone put a lot of effort in and tried their best. But that doesn’t always turn out quite as well as you hoped.”
Zach Brown ’08 and crew Giovanni Zevi Della Porta ’07 finished 13th in the A division, while Carapiet, who sailed with Hannah Oakland ’07 and Zevi Della Porta, finished fifth in the B division. Coed captain Matt Barry ’07, sailing a Laser in the C division, finished fifth, and Jane Macky ’09 rounded out the Eli squad with a 13th-place finish in the Laser Radial D division.
Wintry conditions and a tough spring training regimen made it especially difficult for the Bulldogs to perform at their usual level, Barry said.
“It was really cold and really, really windy,” he said. “We might have been a little bit tired from our spring training. It’s the start of the season, and we’re still getting back in the swing of things.”
The breezy conditions were particularly tough on Carapiet and Oakland, who sail against primarily male teams. In high wind, the extra 50 or 70 pounds can mean all the difference, Carapiet said.
“I tried my hardest to make it through a difficult situation, but it’s just a huge advantage when it’s windy,” she said.
Elsewhere in Maryland, the No. 2 women’s team faced similar conditions at the St. Mary’s Women’s Intersectional. The Elis finished sixth of 14, a point behind No. 1 Navy. But while the high winds tapered off on the second day at Navy, the conditions at St. Mary’s only got breezier and more shifty on Sunday.
Women’s captain Emily Hill ’07 and crew Meghan Pearl ’06 finished third in the A division, while Kendra Emhiser ’07 and crew Eliza Becton ’06 finished eighth in the B division. Both divisions sailed FJs, boats the Elis have not practiced in so far this season.
Emhiser joined Barry in citing the team’s spring training as a mixed blessing.
“Where we practiced during training was really straight breeze,” Emhiser said. “We hadn’t seen any of these kinds of conditions since the fall season.”
All five of the schools that beat the Elis were from warmer climates and had started practice weeks or months before the Bulldogs, Emhiser said. No team from college sailing’s traditional powerhouse New England division, NEISA, finished ahead of the Elis.
“The teams who beat us are all teams that had been sailing for a while,” Emhiser said. “New England schools had a worse showing than usual at this regatta, and I’m definitely still confident with how the season’s going to turn out.”