First-year sailors step into the spotlight with second place at Yale regatta

by Jon Kling | 11/4/04 6:00am

On Friday night, while most of the '08 class was running their requisite laps around the oh-so-touchable bonfire, four of their classmates were asleep down at Yale University, resting up for the New England Freshman Championships. A finish in the top eight at Yale would earn the team a spot at the freshman Atlantic Coast Championships next weekend at Navy. And, since the Dartmouth sailors have already qualified for coed ACC's and women's ACC's, a bid at the freshman ACC's would nicely complement the team's domination of the eastern United States.

Sailing in 420's -- the dinghy of choice at Yale -- the team of Ben Sampson '08, Betsy Bryant '08, Luke Hathaway '08 and Aisha Stewart '08 saw winds anywhere from two to 12 knots over Saturday and Sunday. Sailing a total of 24 races against 18 other teams comprised entirely of freshmen, the Big Green ended up in second place overall, edged out of first by Brown. Sampson and Bryant cruised into second in the A division, with Hathaway and Stewart posting a fourth place finish in B.

After the solid performance and ACC qualification at Yale, Hathaway commented on the overall skill of the team: "I believe that no academic institution, or any other assembled group anywhere, could muster any sort of formidable opposition to the power and glory upheld by the Dartmouth sailing team."

Besides the estimated 3.2 million people in Boston this weekend for the Red Sox parade, there were also six Dartmouth sailors at MIT for the 63rd Prof. Edwin Schell Trophy and another six at Harvard for the Women's Victorian Coffee Urn. Both regattas had to take an hour or so break in the competition as the parade and Boston duck boats passed by, filling the river.

Fran Charles, MIT's head sailing coach commented, "with 400,000 around the lower basin of the Charles River, today's races must have broken some sort of record for most ever spectators at a sailing event."

At MIT, the Dartmouth team, comprised of Erik Storck '07, Clementine James '05, Peter Fleming '05, Killarney Loufek '07, James Attridge '07 and Karl Johnson '06, competed in a total of 36 races against 18 other teams to end up third overall. With winds ranging anywhere from two to 17 knots over the weekend the dynamic team of Stork and James were able to easy grab third in A division while Fleming and Loufek ended up fifth in B.

Under similar racing conditions at Harvard, a modified women's team finished seventh place overall in the Victorian Coffee Urn. The Urn is another ACC qualifier regatta for the women, but since the Dartmouth lady sailors have already procured a berth at ACC's, the Urn was a chance to play around with skipper-crew pairings and give some of the women the weekend off.

To this end, A division was sailed by Emily East '06 and Kate Hacker '07 Saturday, and by Lauren Padilla '05 and Liz Hyon '05 Sunday. The teams combined for an overall finish of third in A division. Adele Wilhelm '08 and Debbie Sperling '06 sailed B division for the entire regatta and ended up in 12th.

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