Big Green sailors sway dinghy champs. Hanover's way

by Mark Davis | 5/9/02 5:00am

The Dartmouth sailors came up big at Coast Guard this past weekend, winning the New England Dinghy Championships for the first time in school history. The win secures the Big Green a berth at the ICSA North American Dinghy Championships from June 5-7 at the University of Hawaii Sailing Site in Keehe Lagoon, located in downtown Honolulu.

Not only did Dartmouth overcome its history in this competition, the Big Green had to battle past some of the strongest teams in the country as well. Nationally sixth-ranked Dartmouth entered an 18-school field that included such powerful rivals as No. 3 Tufts and top-ranked Harvard.

The Dartmouth sailors responded to the pressure, however, and finished first with 164 points, followed by Boston College with 176 and Harvard with 183. The Big Green will have to keep up its current momentum, since it will likely meet Tufts and Harvard again in a few weeks at the National Championships.

"Winning the New Englands was a huge victory for us," Scott Hogan '04 said. "We have been on the verge of breaking out and winning some regattas all year and we finally put it together at the right time. Going into the event, we were one of the top contenders for qualifying for the nationals. Harvard has been dominating most of the events this spring, and it was great to top them. A victory like this has a great effect on our confidence going into the nationals."

Both divisions of the Dartmouth squad put in a strong effort on the way to receiving the college's first Coast Guard Alumni Bowl. Hogan, Christina Lyndon '04, Jen Morgan '02 and Cindy Keppel '02 gave the Big Green a second place finish in the A-division, while Kevin Horrigan '02 and Amo Loring '04 captured the victory in the B-division. Each division is composed of 17 races.

"New England sailing is probably the top region in the country and to win this qualifier gives us momentum going into the nationals," Hogan said. "I am really excited for the challenge and hopefully we will get a similar result as last weekend."

Several Dartmouth sailors topped off the big weekend by receiving various regional honors that were awarded as a result of balloting at the Coast Guard competition. Hogan, Lyndon, Horrigan and Keppel were named to the Coed All-New England Team. Keppel was already named to the Women's All-New England Team two weeks ago.

Hogan came away with the most impressive distinction for Dartmouth, receiving the award for All-New England Sportsman of the Year.

"To have the respect of my competitors means everything to me," Hogan said. "We battle it out on the water every race, every event, every weekend; when the day is done, to be recognized in this way means a lot to me."

In other action, Dartmouth captured the Geiger Trophy by 10 points on Saturday at MIT. The event is known as one of the more enjoyable regattas of the season, in which four Dartmouth teams participated in five divisions.

Competing for the Big Green in each of the divisions were Jon Kling '04 in lasers, Scott Clarke Linthicum '04 and Greg Hill '02 in FJs, Garrett Holmes '05 in Singlehanded Techs, Peter Fleming '05 and Elisabeth Kreter '05 in Doublehanded Techs and Thalia Pascalides '03 and Lindsay Reardon '03 in Rhodes 19s.

Dartmouth earned victories in FJs and in both Techs categories, with Fleming and Kreter dominating the competition in Doublehanded Techs as they won each of their four races.

The win was especially great for Hill, the only Dartmouth senior at the event, who sailed his final collegiate regatta.

"It was well-run and lots of fun, and it was a great final regatta," Hill said. "I have sailed with Scott Linthicum all year. We've sailed some great regattas and had great finishes. I am glad to have sailed with him all year, and wish him and the rest of the team best luck next year."

The Big Green also picked up victories in the Metro Series and the Western Series this weekend.