Sailors hang on to No. 1 ranking

by James Lamb | 10/22/03 5:00am

What's the best present for a new baby boy, you ask? A finely crafted blanket of soft blue made from ever so delicate material? A Shur Fine 3-pack of pacifiers? How about having the coach of the hottest collegiate sailing team in the country as a father? Little Courtland James Doyle was born on Friday, Oct. 17 at a healthy size of 8lbs, 11oz. Merely a day later, the squad led by Coach Brian Courtland Doyle was out competing in team, women's, and co-ed events.

Let's pick up the action at Tufts University, where the 34th Franklin J. Lane Trophy Team Race proved to be a record day for Dartmouth. The combined efforts of Andrew Loe '06, Elisabeth Kreter '05, Peter Fleming '05, Scott Linthicum '04, Christina Duncan '06 and Amanda Morganroth '04, in her first ever team race regatta, won every single race of the event. Their perfect 7-0 finish was the first sweep by Dartmouth of the Lane Trophy since M.C. Hammer had the rap game in a choke-hold.

Turning our attention to the lovely ladies of the lake, the Dartmouth women's sailing team traveled to beautiful New Haven, Conn. for the Yale Women's Intersectional. In the A-division, Lauren Padilla '05 and Liz Hyon'05 faced a light day followed by a windy, rainy outing to finish third. Emily East '06 as skipper with Killarney "I-have-the-coolest-name-on-the-team" Loufek '07 and Allison Swindell '04 splitting time as the crew stepped up in the B-division to place second, giving Dartmouth the silver overall, with Yale winning the regatta. Although the home team may have won this battle, the Dartmouth women are still winning the war with a number 1 national ranking. More important than the regatta itself, the second place finish qualifies Dartmouth for the Women's Atlantic Coast Championship, to be held at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., on November 15th and 16th.

There was even sailing in Dartmouth's own backyard this weekend, at the Jack Wood Trophy on the chilly waters of Lake Mascoma. The home court was a nice advantage for the co-ed sailors against some of the stiffest competition in the country. A tremendous first place finish in the B-division by Erik Johnson '05 and Debbie Sperling '05 set the stage. Complimentary solid performances by Garrett Holmes '05 and Lucy Whidden '07 in A-division, Paul Durkee '06 and Laura Sheinkopf '07 in C-division and Jimmy Attridge '07 with Meaghan Ferrick '07 in D-division gave Dartmouth an overall second place. When asked specifically which famous old captain he would dedicate this performance to, Holmes responded, "Definitely Captain Garmuc; he was legendary. This one was for him." His teammates seemed to support his claim.

From legends of old to legends in training, Dartmouth sailors stormed our nation's defenses at the Navy Fall Intersectional Regatta at the United States Naval Academy, the biggest regatta of the weekend. An intense format consisting of four divisions with twenty races in each, plus super tough competition, would provide a daunting challenge for the Big Green. Things started off well as Scott Hogan '04 and Amo Loring '04 finished first in A-division in a true nail biter, edging out the Harvard A-division sailors by a sole point.

They say big players step up in big games. In this case, the onus rested on the shoulders of a rookie, but despite his limited college experience, Erik Storck '07 with Clementine James '05 cruised to an impressive first place finish in the B-division with the second-place Tufts sailors a full 23 points behind. The duo were able to do so well because they "moved beyond all sketchy conditions with superior 'ooching' and boat handling skills," said James. Storck added, "We tried to take it one race at a time and avoid getting frustrated when a race didn't go our way."

The C and D-division representatives from Dartmouth also sailed well, as Mike Wilde '07 placed fourth in C and Greg Hammond ended up at 14th in D. The aggregate of the finishes gave Dartmouth a satisfying result at the 5 spot, with the A and B-division wins sending a powerful statement to the rest of the collegiate sailing world.

While many of us will be reveling in Homecoming debauchery this weekend, the Dartmouth sailing team will be defending their national rankings, sending out competitive teams to keep bustin' chops. This holds true provided we define "bustin' chops" as "sailing with better skill and speed than the other guys." Oh, and for the record, having a winning father is not, in fact, the best present for a new baby boy. The correct answer is a hilarious miniature cowboy outfit.