Before blizzard season comes, sailors catch the last wind
Though students may think Dartmouth is the coldest college in the East, the Big Green sailors had to shovel snow out of their boats before racing this Saturday at the 33rd Atlantic Coast Dinghy Championship, hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In college sailing, the ACCs are usually viewed as a strong indicator for performance through the spring season and nationals. This applies even more to the Atlantic Coast, as teams from the ACCs typically sweep or nearly sweep the top five places each year at the national championships. The same is true for the women's ACCs, sailed this weekend at the College of Charleston and the corresponding women's national championships in the spring.
This weekend at MIT, the solid talent of Erik Storck '07 and Clementine James '05 shined through as they took second in A-division over 18 races against the 18 best teams on the coast. Overall, Storck and his crewmates James, Killarney Loufek '07 and Jimmy Attridge '07 have been destroying the competition this fall season.
As a boat, Storck and his crews have never finished worse than third in A-division at a highest-level intersectional regatta. And as any athlete might tell you, consistency is the key to sustainable performance.
"I would just like to throw out there that we sailed pretty solidly," James said. "Despite all sorts of ridiculous situations this fall I think that we held it together pretty well and I'm psyched for the spring and what will inevitably be our pure dominance at nationals."
The varsity team at MIT this weekend was rounded out by Karl Johnson '06 and Attridge, as well as Peter Fleming '05, Todd Whitehead '06 and Loufek, who finished 10th in B-division, bringing the team into fifth place overall.
Treated to the warmer weather of South Carolina, the Dartmouth women's sailing team had trouble remaining consistent, which may have been partly due to strong currents in Charleston Harbor at women's ACCs. The Dartmouth team typically spends spring break sailing at the College of Charleston with the first few days of practice spent re-learning current sailing, but the practice proved to not be enough for the Big Green. "The current was the strongest they've seen in a few months, and the boats weren't really moving upwind," said Emily East '06. "People were fully hiked and still not moving forward. We were just all over the place, and not very consistent."
Sailing in 14 races against the 17 best women's teams on the coast, Lauren Padilla '05 and Liz Hyon '05 ended up eighth in A-division while East and Kate Hacker '07 brought home seventh place in B-division. The team ended up in eighth overall.