The past week has been a roller-coaster ride for Dartmouth women's sailing team captain Emily East '06.
East barely missed qualifying for the women's single-handed national tournament back in September, sailing her Laser at Boston College. The women's captain placed fifth out of 40 boats after two days of intense racing. While it had originally been posted that the top five women would qualify for Nationals, East found out, after placing fifth, that only the top four would qualify this year. East brushed off the near miss and proceeded to lead her team to dominance in the double-handed field, and a subsequent number-one ranking nationally.
Just last week, however, a little good luck finally befell the Dartmouth senior. Harvard's Sloan Devlin won the National Qualifier back in September. However, Devlin has recently been named as one of the 12 national finalists for a Rhodes Scholarship and has a mandatory interview this coming weekend, the very same weekend of Nationals in Hawaii. Thus Devlin will face a review board in Boston this weekend while East will seize her sailing assignments and hop on a flight bound for Honolulu with coach Brian Stanford this Wednesday to face the country's top female sailors in the perennially windy Pacific Ocean.
East will represent the Northeastern conference with Emily Hill '07, Jane Mackey '09, Molly Carapiet '06 and three other sailors from Yale.
Heading to Hawaii, however, is a much-needed break from the stress of school and a relentless regatta schedule that caught up to East and her teammates this past weekend in the women's Atlantic Coast Championships (ACCs) hosted by the Coast Guard Academy. The women's team finished lower than they have all season, falling to 10th place overall. East and Kate Hacker '07 placed eighth in A-division while Adele Wilhelm '08 and Betsy Bryant '08 put up similar marks, placing eighth in B-division.
East attributed the team's low marks to frustrating conditions both physically and mentally.
"Sailing 420s in low wind and high current is really tough, and not something our team gets to practice very often [at Lake Mascoma]," said the women's captain. "We also psyched ourselves out on Saturday, concentrating too much on winning rather than having fun as we normally do. When we switched into FJ's with more breeze on Sunday, we got back to having fun, and started winning races again. Unfortunately, it was too late for the regatta, but it's good to know that we have the ability to fight back mentally if we need to."
Dartmouth's coed team also had a rough weekend, placing eighth overall in the coed ACCs at St. Mary's over the weekend. The historically dominate team of Erick Storck '07 and Killarney Loufek '07 continued to roll, losing out in A-division by only two points to Brown after 18 races, and beating Georgetown for the tiebreaker and rights to a second-place finish. Big Green competitors in the B-division had a tougher weekend, with Todd Whitehead '06 and Laura Sheinkopf '07 pulling in at 13th place.
The ACCs mark the end of the fall racing season, with the Dartmouth team at a bit of a low. Nevertheless, the team's spirits are high in wishing East the best of luck this weekend at the University of Hawaii and the return of warmer weather in the spring season.