Women's sailors warm up for Nationals at fun-filled MIT regatta

by Jon Kling | 5/3/06 5:00am

After a relaxing weekend at MIT, the sailing team will next head to Brown for the New England Championships.
by Jennie Post / The Dartmouth

The women's team edged out Harvard in a third place finish at the New England Championships to earn a spot at Nationals two weekends ago, when four Dartmouth sailors were named to the All-New England team.

When the women arrived at Boston College for the two-day New England Championships to steady winds, chilly water and a gathering of the 13 best teams in the Northeast, they knew they had a tough task ahead of them.

Yale and Harvard took an early lead on Saturday, but the Dartmouth women got into the swing of things late. The A division team of Emily East '06 and Kate Hacker '07 finished off the day with back to back wins.The B division boat, skippered by Adele Wilhelm '08 and crewed by Betsy Bryant '08 and Laura Sheinkopf '07, put up two wins and had only one finish below sixth place over the weekend's 13 races.

By the end of Sunday, East and Hacker found themselves in fourth place in the A division while Wilhelm, Bryant and Sheinkopf placed third in the B division. On the strength of those finishes, the Big Green edged Harvard by a single point, took third in the regatta, and earned a plane ticket to Charleston, S.C., where women's Nationals will be held later this month.

"This season, the women's team has worked really hard to stay on top of NEISA," captain East said.

Adding to the excitement of the weekend, East, Wilhelm, Hacker and Bryant were all named to the 2006 All-New England Women's Team.

"It doesn't happen very often that all four members of the women's team are named to the All-New England team. I'm really proud of what we've accomplished this season," East said.

After reaping the rewards of their efforts, the women's sailors got a chance to relax a bit with some of the men's team at the fun-filled Geiger Trophy Intersectional at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology this past weekend.

The event is known for its relaxed atmosphere, its competitors' sartorial splendor and for the pre-regatta barbecue prepared for and by the competitors right on the MIT dock. The grill was fired up before a single race went off, setting the tone for the entire event.

While racing attire is normally limited to neoprene and spandex, the sailors got a chance to break out some less traditional duds over the weekend. Dartmouth's very own Erik Johnson '06 and Tegan Vay '07 turned the most heads, competing in a polyester lounge suit and flowing sundress, respectively. The team, comprised of East, Hacker, Wilhelm, Bryant, Johnson, Vay, Luke Hathaway '08 and James Austin '07, finished in fifth place overall.

The coed team, which features sailors from the women's team, will now turn its attention to getting up to speed for this weekend's New England Championships at Brown.

"Our results have been improving all spring and we're looking forward to qualifying this weekend at Brown," Killarney Loufek '07 said.

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