The coed sailing team failed to secure a win at the Fowle Trophy last weekend at MIT, ending 0-8 overall against the top teams in New England.

Bowdoin went 0-5 in the qualification round against Tufts, Yale, Brown, Connecticut College, and MIT. Then in the consolation round, the Polar Bears fell to Boston University, the University of Vermont, and Connecticut College. The Polar Bears finished in 12th place.

"The level of competition at the Fowle is very high, and a team from New England generally goes on to win nationals," said Ben Berg '12.

Competing with the best New England teams gives Bowdoin experience at large regattas, a relative rarity for the program. Even though the Polar Bears will not move past the Fowle Trophy to reach the national championships, in essence, they got "a feel for what the competition is like at the highest level," said Berg.

In fact, he noted, "Many people actually say that the Fowle provides better competition than nationals because there are no teams from less competitive regions."

Although this ends the sailing season, Berg said this year was a marked improvement from the past. Other teams, too, have taken note of Bowdoin's progress under the guidance of Frank Pizzo, this spring's New England Coach of the Year.

"The development of Frank's coaching style has really helped us succeed this year," said Berg. A shift in the team's culture has also contributed to its success. "The team now operates as a cohesive unit where in the past it was sometimes driven by a few superstar players," he added.

Bowdoin may still compete against New England's top teams next year; with only three seniors graduating, the Polar Bears appear to have a promising fall season ahead.

-Compiled by Clare McLaughlin.