The co-ed and women’s sailing teams competed in seven events collectively over the weekend. The most prestigious event for the co-ed team was the Sherman Hoyt Trophy held at Brown University, while the Stu Nelson Trophy at Conn. College was the headliner for the women’s team.
At the Sherman Hoyt Trophy, the Jumbos finished fifth out of 18 boats. In the A division, senior tri-captain skipper Will Haeger and senior crew Paula Grasberger led Tufts for races 1-6 and 9-12, while sophomore Colin Meade crewed for Grasberger in races 7-8. The group came in third place in the A division. In the B division, senior tri-captain skipper David Liebenberg and senior tri-captain Kathleen Kwasniak sailed for Tufts.
The women’s team did not have the same success at the Stu Nelson Trophy, which is traditionally a difficult race due to the tough competition. Tufts came in 17th place out of 18 teams. Competing in the A division were freshman MaryClaire Kiernan skippering and sophomore Kate Wasynczuk crewing. Racing in the B division were sophomore skipper Amanda Sommi and freshman crew Julia Fuller.
“As a whole, we were not too happy with our performance as a women’s team this past weekend,” Sommi told the Daily in an email. “It was a very competitive regatta in challenging conditions, but we did not really achieve the outcome that we were looking for.”
Despite the result, the future of the program looks promising: Nine out of the 12 members of the women’s team are freshmen or sophomores.
“All four Tufts sailors at this event were underclassmen, so I am greatly looking forward to how the team can develop and improve in the future,” Sommi said.
The weather conditions over the weekend were not kind to the sailors, as heavy winds made it difficult for the boats to stay on track.
“Last weekend, most if not all of the venues were very windy,” sophomore Casey Gowrie told the Daily in an email. “We had well over 20 knots by the end of the day at Roger Williams, which makes the racing a lot more exciting, but difficult.”
Sommi also commented on the challenge of sailing when the weather is inclement.
“The conditions everywhere were intense, with very strong breezes on Saturday,” she said. “It made for a very challenging weekend both mentally and physically for every sailor on our team.”
The Jumbos tried to cope with the tough conditions by maintaining high speeds, so as to not let the wind guide their boats. At the same time, they were cautious to stay on the course.
“It was important to keep the boat powered up and going fast for as long as possible,” Gowrie said. “Also, avoiding mistakes was key because heavier wind tends to amplify those mistakes, and you can lose a lot of boat lengths because of them.”
Tufts did, however, capture two victories at two of its less prestigious regattas this weekend. The wins came at the Central Series 6 at Boston College and the Peak Foliage Invitational at the University of New Hampshire. In the Peak Foliage Invitational, the Jumbos were represented by sophomore Rolfe Glover and freshman Liz Fletcher in the A division and sophomores Nicholas and Joshua Pfosi in the B division.
Two Tufts teams competed at the Central Series 6, finishing in first and second place out of 16 teams. The first-place team was led by senior skipper Ben Weigel, junior crew Hannah Duggan and freshman crew Sam Gates in the A division, and by junior skipper Viktor Wettergren and freshman crew Alexander Tong in the B division.
Both sailing teams added substantial race experience over the weekend, something that should help them – especially in tough conditions – throughout the fall and spring seasons.