Sailors dominant over weekend at multiple regattas

by James Lamb | 10/14/03 5:00am

Along with a beautiful cornucopia of colorful flora scattered across the ground, this fall has brought some of the best sailing action on the water Dartmouth has ever seen. From the University of Vermont down to Harvard this weekend, the sailors raced in big regattas with very successful results.

Our tour begins in at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy for the Hap Moore Trophy team race, the biggest co-ed regatta over the weekend. The combined efforts of Scott Hogan '04, Amo Loring '04, Elisabeth Kreter '05, Peter Fleming '05, Scott Linthicum '04, Christina Duncan '06, and Todd Whitehead '06 proved to be phenomenal through tough conditions to win the event outright while upsetting number one ranked Harvard, now two weeks in a row. "We are thrilled with our results this fall," said Kreter '05. "Winning two consecutive weekends is a huge deal in college sailing because conditions are so variable."

Peter Fleming '05 added, "We overcame some weight disadvantages in breezy conditions to pull off the win."

In fact, it seemed as though the only hang-up for the co-ed sailors came when the team van wouldn't start to leave the regatta. According to Fleming, "The van problem was disappointing, because the whole team wanted to go to Home Depot and maybe Bed, Bath & Beyond, but we didn't know. We didn't know if we would have enough time."

While such an excursion would make for a pretty nice little Saturday, the women's team had more than a faulty starter motor on their hands at the Navy Fall Women's Intersectional at the U.S. Naval Academy. Brisk, shifty winds and choppy water presented challenges to three divisions of women competitors.

The A-division team of Lauren Padilla '05 and Liz Hyon '05 placed fourth after the full 15 races, while first-year standout Killarney Loufek '07 and veteran Debbie Sperling '06 finished seventh in the B-division.

The impressive solo effort of Emily East '06 in the C-division gave the team a lift, helping to secure an overall first place for the Big Green. The regatta mirrored the co-ed Hap Moore Trophy as the most important women's event of the weekend, meaning another tremendous win for the team.

"This weekend was unusual because we sailed a three division event rather than two. That we won overall reflects the depth of our team," stated Padilla. Commenting on teammate East's contribution, "Emily's laser performance was the biggest reason the team did so well at Navy -- she simply out-boathandled all of the other girls."

On the subject of monumental feats, the twin brother dynamic duo of Erik and Karl Johnson '06 posted a second place result at the Cottage Park Yacht Club for the New England Sloop Championships in Star Class Sailboat, hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Johnsons' second place qualified them for the ICSA National Sloop Championships to be held in early November. In fact, after the qualification, Erik Johnson was stunned to the point of rambling, saying to his brother Karl, "Sloop! Sloop-a-loop. [Next time] bring hat. Let's go!" Karl had indeed forgotten to wear his green Dartmouth Sailing hat at the regatta, an easy mistake.

Rounding out the action, the senior pair of Greg Hammond '04 and Allison Swindell '04 and the rookie '07 coupling of Mike "The Beast" Wildebeast and Lucy Whidden garnered a second place finish in the Lake Champlain Open at the University of Vermont.

The duo of Jon Kling '04 and Amanda Morganroth '04 remain undefeated this year as a team through five regattas, winning the A-division of the Metro Series 5 at Brandeis University. Paul Durkee '06 and Tegan Vay '07 placed fourth in B-division for a combined final finish at 3rd.

Finally, Erick Storck '06, Clementine James '05, Garrett Holmes '05 and Rachel Holmes '04 competed in the Ivy League Championships at Harvard University. As Holmes described it, "The racing was really tight, and came down to the last race for the trophy. We came in second, four points behind Harvard, but we fought hard until the very end and we definitely made them nervous."

Looking towards the future, Holmes added, "Everyone on the team really stepped up this weekend, and it shows in our results. If anything, we proved to everyone that we've got what it takes to be number one this year."

Indeed, the new national rankings, due out soon, should reflect well on Dartmouth's terrific team performance. Regardless, the sailors agree there is still much to improve on, but their momentum and focus will surely assist them as the squads prepare to do it again next weekend, when Dartmouth will compete at ten different events including the Western Series 5 at Amherst, the Eastern Series 5 at Bowdoin, and the Metro Series 6 at MIT.