The Bowdoin Sailing Team competed at a familiar venue last weekend as they played host to 12 teams from all over New England for the Nicholas Barnett Trophy held at Bethel Point.
The annual event, known in previous years as the Casco Bay Open, was renamed for the late Bowdoin sailor Nicholas Barnett '11, who was killed in a car accident over Thanksgiving Break in 2007. Former Head Coach Sherry Mason felt that it would be a good idea to rename the yearly event in the memory of Barnett as an invaluable sailor, teammate, and friend.
Bowdoin sailors came out on top at the Barnett Trophy, finishing in first out of a fleet of 13. The team's performance at the event enabled Bowdoin to rise to a No. 16 spot in the weekly New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association rankings, which encompass more than 30 schools.
"The Barnett Trophy was a big win, and since it was the renaming of the event for Nick, it was a big win for Bowdoin Sailing as a whole," said Head Coach Frank Pizzo.
Bowdoin edged out a strong Tufts squad by a three-point margin for the win. Incidentally, Tufts and Bowdoin are the only two teams in intercollegiate sailing who still train in Larks, a dinghy whose popularity has been surpassed by the more common FJs and 420s.
Viktor Bolmgren '11 and Coco Sprague '11 handily won the A-division competition by over 20 points. A string of close races on the second day of competition, however, "found Bowdoin and Tufts battling it out," said Pizzo.
A solid performance by seniors Pete Wadden and Meredith Steck in the B-division complemented the successes of Bolmgren and Sprague and propelled Bowdoin to the first-place finish.
Meanwhile, an additional squad of six sailors traveled down to Larchmont, New York, to compete in the Storm Trysail Club Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta. This regatta, a unique departure from traditional collegiate dinghy sailing, featured competition on bigger one-design keelboats. The Bowdoin team competed on Morning Glory, a J/105 yacht owned by alumnus Carl Olsson '60. Over the two-day competition, the team sailed to an overall sixth-place finish out of a fleet of 12.
"This regatta was the only keelboat event that we had lined up for the fall season," said Tom Charpentier '10. "It was a different type of competition and a fun break from dinghy sailing."
This weekend, the team will look to build upon its recent successes through competition at the Captain Hurst Bowl at Dartmouth and the Great Herring Pond Open at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.