Sailing finishes second in Boston, mid-fleet in Rhode Island

| 11/12/08 4:06am

This weekend the Big Green sailing team tallied a second-place finish at the Crews Regatta, hosted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a ninth-place finish at the Rhode Island State Championships, hosted by Salve Regina University.

The freshmen sailors also picked up a fourth-place finish at the Freshmen Intersectional, hosted by Connecticut College over the weekend.

On the Charles River, Steph Gagnon '10 and Tess Korndorf '11 edged out the competition for a first-place finish in the Division A races at the Crews Regatta. In Division B, Courtney Gerwin '11 and Heidi Heller '10 earned an eighth-place finish out of the 20 teams competing.

The Big Green squad just beat out MIT for a second-place finish overall. Salve Regina sailed away with first place by a 30-point margin.

The venue lived up to its reputation for having strong breezes, as the wind gained force later on in the afternoon of the one-day regatta.

"Keeping our heads out of the boat was really important, especially on the Charles," Gagnon said. "Spotting shifts in advance gave us the opportunity to get there before the other boats."

The regatta gave collegiate sailors who usually crew for their teams the opportunity to take to the helm and skipper boats, broadening their sailing experience.

"It gave us a different perspective of college sailing, just focusing on other aspects of the race than we normally would as a crew," Gagnon said. "Since it was our first time sailing together, Tess and I, and Courtney and Heidi, were really active about talking about everything going on, and it forced us to keep our focus when the wind picked up."

At Salve Regina, skipper Matty Cohen '10 and crew Christina Clark '10, sailed the first two races. Sam Andrew '11 took over for Clark at crew in the last four races, as the team navigated to a ninth-place finish in Division A.

In Division B, with Colin Treseler '09 as the skipper, Ali Hiller '11 worked crew in the first four races before being replaced by Peter Hughes '11, who worked crew in the last two. Dartmouth's Division B boat finished in eighth place.

The Big Green claimed ninth place overall, a mid-fleet finish in the 17 boat regatta. Connecticut College pulled through with the win, 10 points ahead of Boston University.

At the Freshman Intersectional on the Thames River, Sam Williams '12 and Lillian Wilson '12 came through with a strong performance in the Division A races, earning a second-place finish behind Roger Williams University.

The duo of Bernie Ruesler '12 and Rachel Moncton '12 capitalized on the momentum to place third in the Division B races.

The collective efforts brought Dartmouth to an overall fourth-place finish, with Roger Williams securing first place by a 13-point margin.

"It was tricky sailing and very close racing," Williams said. "We were happy with our finish, and I think our success shows that our team has a bright future.

"Sam pulled out some brilliant moves which won us a few races," Wilson said. "Overall, we got some good practice with things like sailing in a lot of current and shifty wind."

The Big Green freshmen sailed the familiar FJs over the course of the competition, yet the erratic wind shifts and strong currents throughout the two days on the rough Thames venue created dilemmas for the skippers.

"We were winning the regatta overall at one point but unfortunately did not finish as well," Williams said.

The Big Green women sailors will gear up for the Women's Atlantic Coast Championships hosted this upcoming weekend at Georgetown University.