Nine members of the coed sailing team traveled to Maine Maritime Academy in Castine this past weekend, where they competed at the Penobscot Bay Open (PBO) and the Harman Cup. Despite a tough weekend of regattas for Bowdoin Sailing, the team gained valuable experience for the upcoming season.
Sailing in 420s, the PBO team of Alex Takata '12, Laura Heyl '10, Alex Sutula '13, and Ben Berg '12 finished in 13th place out of a fleet of 16. Despite several early starts, resulting in on-course side scores, the team was able to sail consistently throughout the weekend. Takata and Heyl fared particularly well, recording several second place finishes and placing 10th overall in their division.
A little farther out in Penobscot Bay, 10 New England teams converged at the Harman Cup for sloop racing in Colgate 26s. DJ Hatch '11 skippered the Bowdoin team to a ninth place finish in this New England sloop championship-qualifying event. The Polar Bears struggled in variable winds on Saturday, but rebounded Sunday with several top-five finishes.
"Bigger boats like the Colgate 26 handle a lot differently than the boats we normally sail," said Hatch. "Once we figured out how to make that adjustment from dinghies to the Colgate 26s we were able to come back real strong for Sunday's racing."
The coed team also sent a consortium of sailors to the Central Series regatta, hosted by Tufts on Upper Mystic Lake. Sailing in Larks, the Polar Bears finished in 11th out of 16 teams. Head Coach Frank Pizzo noted the strong performance of sophomores Jeff Goodrich and Katharine O'Brien in the B-division, where they posted a number of top-10 finishes over the course of the event.
Meanwhile, the women's team tested its mettle on the Charles River at the inaugural Antonia Schuman Trophy, hosted by MIT. Sailing in FJs amidst light and shifty conditions, the Bowdoin women finished 10th out of a fleet of 12. Charlotte Williams '10 and Coco Sprague '11 recorded an 11th place finish in the competitive A-division. The B-division team of Katherine McNeil '12, Jane Koopman '10 and Caitlin Beach '10 finished in eighth.
Pizzo noted that the focus for the team in the upcoming weeks will be developing and honing young talent for more competitive NEISA events.
"We will struggle at times this fall, but will also have some very promising results," said Pizzo. "While the women finished 10th out of 12 at the Schuman, they have a lot of potential to move up."
"This weekend was a great learning experience all around," Williams added. "I think it showed us what we need to work on in practice, but also that we have a lot of potential to improve our results from here on out."
This upcoming weekend, Bowdoin will dispatch its coed teams to the University of Vermont for the Lake Champlain Open, Tufts for the annual Freshman Symposium, Middlebury for the Northern Series, and Boston College for the Central Series. The women's team will travel to Dartmouth for the Mrs. Hurst Bowl intersectional.