Sailing team finishes successful fall season

by Amy Hatch | 11/17/95 6:00am

Not rain, not sleet, not even snow was going to stop the Big Green women sailors from competing in the annual Atlantic Coast Championships this past weekend at Hobart.

After canceling all races on Saturday because of high winds, the women sailors had to scrape ice off the boats and bail out snow on Sunday morning in order to sail.

"There were some interesting conditions," Coach Brian Doyle said. "There was a big challenge because of that."

This challenge included sailing in 15 mph winds with gusts up to 25 mph and sailing through heavy snow flurries.

"There were a couple of times in the day that I could not even see the race course because of the snow," Doyle said. "It was a complete white out at times. You couldn't tell who was who."

The Big Green women, accustomed to cold temperatures and inclement weather, were able to overcome these conditions as they placed fifth out of 16 schools.

"Our goal going in was to place in the top five, which we did so I was totally happy with our team's performance," Doyle said.

While in most years the Championships are decided by the combination of 16 races in both the A and B divisions, this year the women were only able to complete six total races.

The six races were the minimum requirements the teams could race if they hoped to have the event counted as an official regatta.

"This was the first time Hobart had ever held a major championship, so they really wanted to get the regatta in," Doyle said. "It was good for them they were able to finish it."

In the A Division Leigh Lucas '98 and Heather Melanson '97 led the Big Green women with a fifth place finish. Amanda Ruscitto '97 and Blair Seidler '96 placed fourth in the B Division.

"Our women did well to survive," Doyle said. "Most teams had a little more problems with the conditions. Some were coming in with frostbite, which was kind of scary."

Tufts University won the Championships, while Connecticut College and Radcliff followed.

In other sailing action this weekend, the freshman squad also placed fifth out of 12 schools in the freshman Atlantic Coast Championships at Connecticut College.

Led by Casey Hogan '99, the only female skipper in the A Division at the regatta, the Big Green A crew placed third in that division.

With a solid crew of freshman and strong varsity sailors, the Big Green are looking to use the fall experience come spring.

"We're really excited for the spring season," Doyle said. "We feel we will be ready to go."