Tempestuous weather and a temperamental breeze throughout New England challenged the sailing team on the last major competition weekend of the year, but the Polar Bears stepped up with a solid performance nevertheless.

The events featured notable performances by the team's seniors, including an eighth-place finish in A division at Women's New England Championships by senior captain Coco Sprague.

The women's squad took to the waters at Bowdoin as hosts of the 2011 Women's New England Championship. The event drew 14 teams from around the conference, all looking for a place in the top seven and a berth at nationals. Rain, sleet and gusty winds made for an exciting and chilly Saturday, but although Sunday brought sunshine, a complete lack of breeze prevented additional racing. The Boston College Eagles won the event, with Bowdoin placing 11th overall.

In A division, Sprague and crew Emily McNeil '14 competed against the top women's sailors, including the women's sailor of the year Annie Haeger from Boston College and several all-NEISA team selections, and placed eighth. The pair was consistently in the top 10 and improved throughout the regatta to a high score that earned them fifth place in race 7A. Sophomores Katie Doble and Sarah Fiske sailed B division, landing in 12th place.

"Hosting was a fun way to end a good season for the Lady Polar Bears," said Sprague. "I just can't believe eight seasons of Bowdoin sailing has gone by this quickly."

It was a notable week for the women's squad off the water as well, as it received votes in the Sailing World College Rankings toward being nationally ranked for the first time since 2004. The rankings are generated from a national biweekly coaches poll, much like rankings for NCAA sports.

The coed squad also experienced extreme conditions at the Staake Trophy Team Race at Roger Williams University, which had postponements for both too much and too little wind. Bowdoin tied for fifth out of eight teams, narrowly missing qualification for the final round of four and a chance to qualify for team race championships. DJ Hatch '11, Viktor Bolmgren '11 and Pete Edmunds '14 skippered for the team, with crews Mae Speight '13, Kim Dempsey '14, Ben Berg '12 and Leah Hughes '11.

"We were happy with our performance this weekend," said Hatch. "We held our own against some very good teams—we were the only team to beat the eventual winners, Roger Williams, in the initial round robin—and barely missed qualifying by some close races."

"This regatta really showed how much we have grown as a team racing team," added Hughes. "We were definitely in the mix every time we were out on the water—the winners were never clear until the very end of each race."

Tom Peabody '14 and Madison Rex '14 represented Bowdoin at the UNH Priddy Trophy, a single division freshman championship, where the duo placed fifth.