Women's sailors qualify for Atlantic Coast champs

by Jon Kling | 10/27/04 5:00am

While most Dartmouth students spent this sunny Saturday in long pants and fleece, the Big Green sailing team raced toward glory in neoprene and dry suits, securing berths in top regattas throughout the East Coast . Despite the extreme drop in mobility and sex appeal, the sailors once again showed their mettle in heavy winds up and down the Northeast.

The women's team saga reached one of their major milestones at Connecticut College. This weekend at the Stu Nelson regatta, a team comprised of Lauren Padilla '05, Liz Hyon '05, Emily East '06, Kate Hacker '07 and Elizabeth Kreter '05 finally secured a berth for the Women's Atlantic Coast Championships. With gusty and shifty breezes ranging anywhere from 12 to 20 knots, the ladies held their own and were on top of the competition after a day of racing Saturday.

Sunday brought five more races in heavy breeze where the ladies were able to finish out in second place overall. Padilla and Hyon finished eighth in A-division, while East and Hacker thumped the competition in B, winning by over nine points.

Hacker commented, "This weekend was just like last weekend, the big breeze rolled in and we had the muscle for the hustle when the other teams didn't. We worked them, plain and simple." The women will be looking to work the rest of the Atlantic coast at ACCs, to be held Nov. 13 and Nov. 14.

Dartmouth also sent a small army of sailors to Brown University this weekend to combat the prevailing big breeze. To the Sherman Hoyt Trophy, Dartmouth sent Erik Storck '07, Jimmy Attridge '07, Clementine James '05, Peter Fleming '05, Todd Whitehead '06 and Killarney Loufek '07, a team that battled through a total of 30 races against 18 other teams to finish up second overall, just behind their hosts, Brown. With many well-timed crew switches, Storck used a combination of Attridge and James to snag third place in A-division, while Fleming's equally deft switching of Whitehead and Loufek secured fourth place in B-division.

Following their pattern of running up, the Big Green captured a second place in the largest regatta of the weekend, the Smith Trophy, a 21-team event down at MIT. MIT is the only school to support at large fleet of a boat by their own design, the Technical Dingy, or Techs, as they are known. This marvel of engineering was designed by one of MIT's own, is suited for 1-5 sailors, has only one sail (despite being sailed by two people in college racing, making it very slow), and is generally agreed to be the worst and poorest performing boat in college sailing.

The Techs are difficult to maneuver on any point of sail and are especially unstable in heavy air due to the lack of hiking straps. To this end, MIT just purchased an entire new fleet of Techs last season to replace their 1970s-era boats.

Dartmouth team member Laura Sheinkopf '07 reported, "the new techs are just as awful as the old techs, only the new ones are bright red, so they are kind of pretty."

Not wanting to put in a poor showing in the prettiest boats on the East, a team of Mike Wilde '07, Christina Duncan '06, Garrett Holmes '05 and Sheinkopf turned in a first place in A-division, fifth place in B-division and a second place overall, once again being barely edged out by Brown.

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