Sailing | Tufts wins three of 10 regattas over weekend

The sailing team performed well at 10 competitive regattas this weekend, improving upon its two wins from last weekend by placing first at three regattas in total. The Jumbos notched impressive finishes at the Coast Guard Academy’s Danmark Trophy, the New England Women’s Single-handed Championships hosted by Boston College, the Bowdoin Invitational in Maine, the George Warren Smith Trophy at MIT and the Central Series 4 and Richard B. Ross College Bowl, both hosted by Tufts.

Twenty teams raced at the Danmark Trophy, where Tufts finished in 11th place. In one of the most competitive regattas of the weekend, Tufts’ A division team led the way with the senior team of tri-captain Will Haeger skippering and Paula Grasberger crewing.

The B division boat also performed solidly, as junior Alec Ruiz-Ramon skippered while senior tri-captain Kathleen Kwasniak crewed. The B boat came in eighth place overall and was one of the top six boats in six out of 10 races. With these results, Tufts finished only nine points behind 10th-place Roger Williams and five points ahead of Harvard.

While both the A and B division boats came in first at the Hood Trophy last week, the competition was much more fierce this week. Additionally, there were significant delays due to a lack of wind both Saturday and Sunday mornings. Tufts also did not have the home-water advantage it enjoyed last week.

Sophomore Amanda Sommi represented the Jumbos as one of 14 sailors at the New England Women’s Single-handed Championships. She managed to place 10th, sitting only seven points behind the sixth place seat from MIT. This was a change of pace from Sommi’s skippering for a two-person race at the Regis Bowl at Yale the weekend before. 

Tufts placed third at the Bowdoin Invitational but trailed the second place team, the University of Vermont, by a single point. Of the seven teams competing, Tufts put its best foot forward with an A division squad consisting of junior Katie Levinson skippering and Emily Lynn crewing, while the B division team featured senior Maggie Bacon skippering and junior Erin Bondy crewing. 

There was no lack of wind in Maine this weekend; conditions were tricky due to strong winds coming in alternately from the east and northeast. 

At the Central Series 4, which was raced at home, a total of 7 teams competed, with Tufts taking the top four spots. Dartmouth, Northeastern and Salve Regina trailed behind, with Dartmouth coming in a full 14 points behind the fourth place Tufts team. Sailing was postponed on Saturday due to a lack of wind and picked up again on Sunday, when four races occurred. The A division team of sophomore James Moody skippering and senior Julie Pringle crewing and the B division team of freshman Sandy Beatty skippering and junior Grace Olsen crewing both placed first. 

Freshman Natalie Danziger, who sailed for Tufts’ second place team, noted the advantage of competing close to home.

“Tufts used [its] home court advantage on a day of drizzly condition and gave a pretty dominant performance on the lake,” she said. “The other teams were talented sailors but just not used to Mystic Lake and sailing with the larks that we provided.”

Overall, the Central Series 4 was a smaller regatta but gave many new and returning sailors a chance to display their skills.

The Jumbos earned a resounding victory at the George Warren Smith Trophy at MIT, placing first with 33 points, ahead of MIT and Boston College, who came in with 48 and 50 points, respectively. The A and B teams each won their respective divisions allowing Tufts to ultimately take the overall win. The A team, with seniors Charlie Proctor skippering and Elizabeth Keys crewing, grabbed 13 points, while the B division team of juniors Dan Nickerson and Jamie Maffeo added 20 points.

The team also had great success at the Richard B. Ross College Bowl, also hosted by Tufts. Two teams placed in the top 10. In eighth place, sophomore Pierre Dupont skippered and classmate Gracie Peck crewed. The first-place team was comprised of sophomores Casey Gowrie and Maxwell Bennett.

Gowrie, who finished third to last at the same event last year, felt more prepared for the regatta this time around and was happy with his improvement.

“Max [Bennett] did a great job of keeping us focused on boat speed, and we did a good job with sail controls and rig tension in the changing winds to keep going fast all day,” Gowrie said.

The race was close, with the second and third place teams each finishing with 22 points, just a single point behind Gowrie and Bennett’s total of 21.

Next weekend, the Jumbos will compete at another round of regattas, including the New England Sloop Championship. 

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