Sailing weathers storms at Navy and Ivy regattas

by Jon Kling | 10/11/05 5:00am

Despite their inexplicable love of neoprene, Dartmouth sailors certainly prefer a windy and sunny day to a windy and wet one. Unfortunately, the Big Green sailors encountered cold and soggy conditions Saturday and Sunday at the Navy Fall Women's Intersectional Regatta and the Mosbacher-Knapp Ivy League championship. But while many might not consider New Hampshire a strategic sailing stronghold, inclement weather is nothing new for the men and women in green, who earned consistently high places in both regattas.

The kicking continues for the women's team at the Navy Fall Women's Intersectional Regatta this weekend in Annapolis, Md. An intersectional regatta is one in which all "sections" of the country may compete (sailing is divided into five national sections by geographic location), and tends to be a conglomerate of the best sailors from each section, thus driving up the level of competition.

And compete they did. The regatta saw 39 boats start, but as the regatta report reads, "Sailors were met with 18-25 knots from the south with rain squalls and steep waves." At one point team captain Emily East '06 counted 11 boats capsized in the middle of racing, about a third of the entire fleet. Needless to say, some teams retired early and did not complete the regatta. Dartmouth, however, was not one of them.

East, Kate Hacker '07, Adele Wilhelm '08, Betsy Bryant '08 and Kendall Reiley '09 stayed on the water and thrashed the competition all day Saturday and Sunday. Five-foot waves pitch-poled (cart-wheeled) East and Hacker's 420 in two races, violently ejecting them from their vessel, but they were still able to right it and snag a fifth-place finish in those races, earning fifth overall in A-division.

The team of Wilhelm and Bryant, weighing in at a total of 230 pounds -- the ideal crew weight for the boats is around 270 pounds and more for the heavy winds this weekend -- slogged away in B-division, consistently beating the heavier boats for another fifth overall finish. Reiley, the newest addition to the women's team, sailed her single-handed laser masterfully and slipped away with second overall in C-division, bringing the team to an overall finish of second place.

"It was a great regatta, kind of scary," said East. "We had a lot of fun, and we're ready to keep the ball rolling for Yale Women's [the first Atlantic Coast Championship qualifier] next weekend."

Closer to home on Lake Mascoma this weekend, Dartmouth hosted the Mosbacher-Knapp Ivy League championship. Mascoma is a bit more sheltered than Annapolis, and even with the 10-knot winds Saturday, similar five-foot swells could not be expected. Racing was civil all weekend through 28 races and each of the Ancient Eight tried to prove its mettle over the rest. Dartmouth fielded yachtsmen Erik Johnson '06, Tegan Vay '07, Luke Hathaway '08 and Teryn Williams '08 against the very finest in the league. The team of Johnson and Vay sailed their Flying Junior to a fourth-place finish in A-division while Hathaway and Williams took Yale in a positively smashing tiebreaker to garner second place in B-division. This placed the Big Green in third overall, with Yale taking home the Ivy Crown by just one point over the Harvard Crimson.

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