After posting impressive finishes in three regattas two weeks ago, the sailing team competed in two team race regattas last weekend and again excelled. The coed sailors finished second out of six teams in the Staake Trophy, thereby qualifying for the New England Team Race Championship. In addition, the women’s team pulled out solid races at the Duplin Trophy, finishing third out of ten teams.

The Polar Bears had a series of tight races against three other top teams in the Staake Trophy at Connecticut College, finishing with a record of 7-3. The Staake featured a series of races pitting two teams against each other with three boats each, a type of competition known as a team race regatta. 

Each boat was assigned a point value corresponding to the place in which it finished, and the team that finishes with 10 or fewer points wins.  

According to Head Coach Frank Pizzo, several races were determined within the final 20 feet before the finish line.

“We were pretty happy about our performance on Saturday,” said skipper Michael Croteau ’15. “[But] we knew that we needed to sail well on Sunday, because the top four teams all had five or six wins. We were all one win apart. And only two teams are going to be qualified.”

One of the team’s most competitive races was against Boston University (BU) in the second round robin on Sunday. 

The team had just lost to Connecticut College in the same round and was looking to avenge a loss to BU from the day before.

“It was a must-win race for us. That was the race that sealed our fate,” said Pizzo. 

Early on, the Terriers had boats in both first and second place, but Bowdoin was able to take the top spot and put two boats ahead of BU’s second. This rebound from third-fourth-sixth to first-third-fourth secured Bowdoin’s win.

 “If we didn’t win that race, we wouldn’t be moving on,” said Croteau. “On the last leg, we basically got their boats slowed by getting to tack and duels. We had them do some extra boat handling, and forcing them to sail into adverse currents. So my teammates sailed fast and got ahead.”

 It was the first regatta for the coed team after the team’s Spring Break trip to California. Competing were Jack McGuire ’17, Charlotte Williamson ’15, Harrison Hawk ’18, Julia Rew ’16, Michael Croteau ’15, Mimi Paz ’17, Olivia Diserio ’16 and Matt Lyons ’17.

After a first-place finish at St. Mary’s Women’s Interconference, the women’s team finished with a best-ever record of 12-6 at Duplin Trophy in Tufts last weekend, earning a third-place finish. The shifty wind pattern on Sunday, however, produced several unexpected incidents.

“We had a race against Brown. We were trying to execute a difficult play,” said Lizzy Hamilton ’15. “My teammates did a good job executing it. Right before finishing the race, we finally made the play work and we were going to win. [But] there was a huge wind shift, so we ended up losing the race.” 

“We ended up losing a couple of races [on Sunday],” said Pizzo. “But it was still a good day. We beat a bunch of teams—there is a lot of competition.”

Lizzy Hamilton ’15, Jade Willey ’17, Ellis Price ’18, Courtney Koos ’16, Sydney Jacques ’18, Erin Mullins ’16, and Emily Salitan ’16 all sailed at the Duplin Trophy.

Due to unseasonably cold weather, the team did not get many chances to practice before its spring regattas.

“We haven’t had a lot of practice leading up to the regatta. We were excited to be out on the water,” said Croteau.

The Polar Bears are ready to compete at the BU Trophy, the Marchiando Team Reace, the Dellenbaugh Trophy and the Barque Eagle Team Race this weekend. 

Thanks to their finish in the Staake Trophy, they will travel to Harvard for the New England Team Race Championship on April 11 and 12.