In what has turned out to be its best season in recent history, the sailing team continued its streak of success last weekend when it qualified for two championship meets.
At Harvard's Victorian Coffee Urn regatta, the women's squad finished sixth of 18 and qualified for the Atlantic Coast Championship (ACC), even with 17-knot winds.
Kaylee Schwitzer '15 sailed with sophomores Ayaka Okawa and Emily McNeil in the B division, which they won with 59 points. Katie Noble '13 and Kim Dempsey sailed in the A division.
"For a freshman to win B division at that event is awesome," said Head Coach Frank Pizzo '06. "I think they had a pretty conservative game plan and tried to minimize risks, and they ended the regatta with a 2-1 finish in the last two races. They just went out and did really well, even with pressure."
"A division is really competitive, and Katie and Kim had a really strong Sunday," he added. "They had much better starts and were just stronger in breeze, which was encouraging."
Meanwhile, the coed team placed 16th of 18 schools at MIT's Schell Trophy.
Sailors competing included first year Michael Croteau, sophomores Pete Edmunds and Tom Peabody, juniors Mae Speght and Jimmy Rohman, and seniors Clare Henry, Jeff Goodrich and Ben Berg.
The 16th-place finish doesn't do justice to the team's stellar performance.
The Schell pits the top 18 teams in the 34-school conference against each other, while the other 16 schools compete in the Underdog regatta.
Pizzo noted that Bowdoin struggled in the wind, but Croteau subbed in halfway through and put up good scores in a tough fleet.
The top seven teams at both of last weekend's regattas qualify for the Atlantic Coast Championship, and the next seven go to the Atlantic Coast Tournament (ACT) in Florida.
The women will compete in the ACC, while the coed squad will go to the ACT—the two toughest events of the season.
"It's the first time in at least 10 years that the women are going to ACCs," said Pizzo. "It's a championship event, and all the top teams will be there."
"For the ACTs, I think it will be windy considering it's in open water, and it would be complicated by the fact that we've never sailed there before," he added.
Teams from New England, the Mid-Atlantic and Florida will be competing at ACCs, but Pizzo said that all the top teams currently hail from New England.
The women are currently ranked sixth in the region, which he said is equivalent to being ranked sixth in the country.
This year's team has shown remarkable improvement from past seasons.
"They're willing to work really hard, and I think we've slowly gotten better talent over the years," said Pizzo. "On the women's side, we're starting to see that come together at the national level, and I think the coed team will break into that level with a little more time. The team is super dedicated to getting better."
Pizzo thinks Bowdoin has a realistic chance of finishing in the top three teams at the ACTs, and said that being in the top nine at the ACCs would be a good result.
In collegiate sailing, fall performances determine the scheduling for the next calendar year, so after this season, Bowdoin can schedule more challenging regattas for the spring in hope of improving performance at the national level.
This weekend will be a busy one for the Polar Bears, as they host the Freshman Intersectional and will be sending sailors to Salve Regina for the State Championship and to Harvard for the Horn Trophy.