The sailing team competed in three different regattas on the Charles River this past weekend, posting mixed results in each. Each regatta, serving as a qualifier for the end-of-season Atlantic Coast Championships (ACC), functioned as de-facto New England championships for the respective women's, coed and first year teams.
Headlining the weekend's events was the squad of first years competing at the Freshman New England Championships for the Nickerson Trophy. In an event that saw a total of 43 capsizes on the first day of competition, the young team stayed strong in big breeze finish 10th out of 17 boats. Alex Sutula and Mae Speight sailed to a 10th place finish in A-division, while Katie Doble, Isabel Low, Jimmy Rohman and Zac Fox put up a strong showing to finish seventh in B-division.
"Although Saturday was tough sailing with gusts over 30 knots, we rebounded well on Sunday competing well against some of the best New England sailors of the class of 2013," said Doble, who skippered the majority of races in B-division.
"The freshmen's performance at the Nickerson was a highlight, particularly that of Katie and Isabel in B-divsion," said Head Coach Frank Pizzo. "As a boat they have been working hard in practice and really put up some good scores at the end of the regatta."
Bowdoin's performance at the Nickerson earned it a berth to the ACC Freshman Intersectional, which will be sailed in FJs at Boston University this weekend.
Sailing at Harvard at the 44th Victorian Coffee Urn Intersectional, the women's team posted a series of consistent scores that earned them a 15th place finish. These results, though a significant improvement from previous events, were not enough to qualify for the women's ACC regatta, which gave berths to the top eight teams.
Sailing in FJs, Charlotte Williams '10 and Coco Sprague '11 placed 11th in A-division. The B-division team of Katherine McNeil '12, Caitlin Beach '10 and Jane Koopman '10 finished in 14th in a tight fleet.
Williams and Sprague fared particularly well on Saturday, when solid boathandling and careful tactics helped them keep the boat upright in winds upwards of 23 knots. They were one of the only pairs that did not capsize during the regatta.
"Last Saturday it got particularly hairy out on the Charles," said Sprague. "Critical to being successful was keeping the mast and your person out of the water."
"Saturday ended up being more about survival than the nuanced tactics usually present in races," said McNeil.
About a half mile downriver from the Urn, 20 of the top coed teams in the nation competed at MIT for the 68th Erwin Schell Trophy. A strong southwesterly ranging from 20-30 knots greeted sailors on Saturday, while Sunday's 5-8 knot northerly provided an opportunity for more light air sailing. The teams present completed a full rotation of 20 races, sailing in both FJs and techs.
Bowdoin drew from a deep team of nine sailors for the Schell, which afforded many opportunities for line changes and substitutions in variable winds. However, the Polar Bears struggled in the tough fleet over the course of the two-day event, ultimately finishing in a disappointing 20th.
The team looks to rebound from this setback during the last week of fall competition this weekend.
"This upcoming weekend is our last one, and it is a big one for us because it will determine our ranking for the next year," said Pizzo.
The women will compete in the Horn Trophy Team Race, which will be sailed in FJs at Harvard. The coed team will travel to Newport to sail in 420s at the Rhode Island State Championships. Another coed team will be dispatched to Cambridge to race in techs at MIT's end-of-season No Ringer Trophy.