Sailing sputters to disappointing finish at championship

by Caroline Buck | 11/18/09 11:00pm

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11.19.09.sports.sailing
by Douglas Gonzalez and Douglas Gonzalez / The Dartmouth

The Dartmouth women's sailing team finished 13th overall in the Atlantic Coast Championship, hosted by Brown University last weekend in Providence, R.I. Head coach John Storck said the finish was a disappointing end to an accomplished season for the Big Green.

"When we look back on it, this was one of our best seasons in two years," Storck said.

The team will look to use this weekend's regatta as a learning experience as it looks forward to its upcoming spring season, Storck said.

"That was our last regatta of the season, leaving a little bit of a sour taste in our mouth, but that can be a good thing if you use it the right way," he said.

Boston College took first place in the tournament with a total of 107 points. The Big Green placed just ahead of Harvard's women's team, which finished in 14th place.

Rookie Chandler Salisbury '13, the only Big Green freshman to sail at the ACC, was an integral part of the team's success, finishing fourth with Steph Gagnon '10 in the B division at the championship.

Storck said he expects the freshman sailors to continue to perform well this spring.

"The freshmen this year are not the biggest class we've had in a while, but they are very talented. The few recruited athletes were everything we expected and more," Storck said. "Chandler Salisbury is competing at the highest level right away."

The close-knit nature of the team, coupled with the welcoming spirit of the seniors, contributed to the Big Green's success this year, Salisbury said.

Captain Becca Dellenbaugh '10 and Rachel Moncton '12 competed in the A division this weekend, finishing in 17th place.

Salisbury said that, despite this weekend's low finish, Dellenbaugh had an "incredible" season. In September, both Dellenbaugh and Moncton were honored by NEISA as sailors of the week.

The team's efforts this weekend were impeded by both a difficult course and tough weather conditions, Salisbury said.

"[The ACC was] at a hard venue and had a lot of current. The Brown coach mentioned that it was the weirdest conditions he'd seen all year," she said.

Although the Big Green's coed team sailed into 13th place at the 68th Erwin Schell Trophy regatta at MIT over Halloween weekend, the team was unable to qualify for the ACC.

"We've been rebuilding for the past two years on the coed team," Storck said. "This is our third year in a row not going, but we were closer this year than in the past."

The Big Green's freshman boats, meanwhile, competed at the Nickerson Trophy in Boston last weekend, finishing fifth overall. The duo of Bo McClatchy '13 and Sabrina Amaro '13 cruised into first.

The previous weekend, the freshman boats sailed alongside fellow novice sailors at the Freshman Intersectional regatta at Boston University.

The freshmen finished fourth out of 14 total teams on the weekend.

The Big Green sailing team will start its spring season over spring break, training at Old Dominion University.

In the meantime, the team will continue to practice a few days a week over Winter term in preparation for the next season, and may participate in a regatta or two over the term, according to Storck.

Salisbury said that the team is looking to be more consistent in regattas this spring and aims to keep working hard in practices.

"Staying competitive in our racing during practice and continuing to build the team dynamic has been important," Salisbury said.

Looking back on his fifth fall at Dartmouth, Storck said that he particularly enjoyed his time with the team this season.

"This was one of the more fun seasons I've had," Storck said. "I think everyone will really benefit from some time off and build upon what success we had this season."