Sailing gets blown away in Md.
In another stormy weekend in the northeast, bouts of the shivers were accompanied by torrential winds of up to 40 miles per hour recorded on the Severn River at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Unfortunately the New Hampshire toughness of the Dartmouth sailing team was not enough for the perennially lightweight team to overcome this weekend's heavy air.
Despite the big breeze, there were a few glimmers of why the sailors are still ranked in the top five nationally. Sailors Erik Storck '07 and Killarney Loufek '07 made their mark at the Navy Fall Intersectional regatta this weekend, sailing into third place in A-division after 18 races against the best competition in the country in the biggest breeze of the season thus far.
Neither Storck nor Loufek is on the small side and that is not a desired quality when being thrashed about in rough seas. Though that game plan may have been debatable, the results speak for themselves.
The tenacious two in A-division were backed up by the first-time pairing of Jimmy Attridge '07 and Christina Duncan '06, who earned a 12th place finish in B-divison. The C- and D-divisions were sailed in Lasers (a single-handed boat) by Ben Sampson '08 and Kendall Reiley '09, who placed 12th and 13th in their divisions, respectively. The Big Green combined divisions to wrap it all up with a final team standing of 12th place overall.
Despite the lower overall finishes this weekend, vice commodore Storck had a positive outlook on things. "All in all it was a good learning weekend," he said. "We got to sail in 420s which we will have to sail a lot this spring as we gear up for Nationals qualifiers and Nationals. We were also able to test our own limits in some very strong breezes, and I think we all came off the water that day with big wet smiles, which is really why we go sailing in the first place."
Elsewhere this weekend, the women's team met heavy winds at the Yale Women's Intersectional allowing for only six races on Saturday in two-to-four foot swells and then only two races on Sunday before damaging winds canceled sailing for the day. Women's sailors Emily East '06, Kate Hacker '07, Adele Wilhelm '08 and Betsy Bryant '08 sailed to ninth place overall on Saturday, advancing to seventh place on Sunday.
With only eight races, the women believed they had an excellent chance to break into the top five, but the race committee simply found the sailing conditions too dangerous to let the women have another crack at the competition.
On the coaching side, the sailing team's new assistant coach John Storck sailed in the U.S. Sailing Team Racing Championships in Larchmont, N.Y., over the weekend, bringing home the silver medal.
Storck just joined the team this fall, following a win at last year's Collegiate Team Racing Nationals for his alma mater, Hobart and William Smith, surpassing Dartmouth's final standing of sixth place. Dartmouth sailing is proud to have a continual competitor on its team who can bring some more high-level expertise to the team's continual improvement.