East '06 finishes ninth in sailing's Nationals

by Jon Kling | 11/22/05 6:00am

The weather was consistently pleasant for sailing team captain Emily East '06 this weekend, holding at 85 degrees in the Keehi Lagoon in Honolulu, Hawaii for the 2005 Women's Single Handed Nationals. East took full advantage of the favorable conditions, a sharp contrast to the clime during the majority of the fall season, finishing ninth in the nation.

The 32 best Laser sailors (16 men and 16 women) converged on Hawaii this weekend from all over the US for the Vanguard Single Handed Nationals. Racing commenced on Friday afternoon with a northerly breeze of four to six knots, allowing the race committee to pack in 10 of the required 16 races before 5 p.m. Shifty conditions combined with quick velocity changes threw the entire fleet for a bit of a loop, which showed in the early separation of fleet leaders from the pack in both men's and women's. East hadn't sailed in Lasers (or a warm ocean) in over a month, and she had a little trouble getting used to the boat again. At the end of the day Friday, she was in ninth place overall, finishing all over the board in her 10 races, from the top five all the way down to 13th.

Saturday proved to be much the same for East, only with larger variance in her finishes. East posted a disappointing 16th place finish in the 14th race, only to come back and put up a solid second place in the 15th race. So many ups and downs through the morning kept East solidly where she was the day before, not moving up or down, as her average didn't really change from Friday's races. When all was said and done, East ended up in ninth in the nation, just a point ahead of Katie Smith of Saint Mary's.