Sailing teams finish eighth in weekend regattas

Tufts sailors compete in the Mystic Lake Team Race, where the Jumbos placed first, on April 10, 2016. Ray Bernoff / The Tufts Daily

Both of Tufts’ sailing teams, the co-ed and women’s squads, finished eighth in their respective regattas over the weekend.

The co-ed team, which is ranked ninth nationally in the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA), participated in the Lynne Marchiando Trophy regatta at MIT on Saturday and Sunday. The Jumbos finished eighth out of 16 participating schools. The team lost a tiebreaker with the Roger Williams Hawks, who took seventh place. Both the Hawks and the Jumbos went 4-10 on their races over the two-day meet.

Despite the eighth-place finish, the athletes, including senior Griffin Rolander, remain optimistic coming out of the regatta.

“We are looking forward to changing that top-eight finish into a top-four finish,” Rolander said. “Our dials were a little off-kilter in our losses. We need to check those before we go out next time.”

A top-four finish in their next regatta would allow the Jumbos to qualify for the New England Team Racing Championships.

In the first day of the MIT regatta, the Jumbos took part in races against seven teams. Tufts won three of those seven races, as they defeated Yale (1-3-5), College of Charleston (1-2-6) and Hobart and William Smith (1-2-4).

According to some team members, it was particularly gratifying to defeat Yale, the No. 1 co-ed sailing team in the nation.

“It was very exciting,” senior tri-captain Scott Barbano said. “They are four-time team race national champions. It was awesome to take a win off them, and it shows us that we can beat anyone.”

Coach Ken Legler was proud of his team’s defeat of Yale but acknowledged that there might have been a bit of luck involved.

“We love beating Yale,” Legler said. “We also beat them in a race last month. This time, they started out with a 1-2-3 breakaway, but one of their boats capsized. The conditions were very stormy yesterday, so capsizes were bound to happen randomly. Still, we’re happy to get the win.”

At the end of the first day, Tufts sat in sixth place out of the sixteen competing teams. On the second day, the Jumbos played a round robin for another seven races. In those races, they went 1-6, losing to all their opponents but Charleston. Tufts’ second match against Yale was not as successful as the first. Yale’s boats finished first, second and third in the race, meaning Tufts’ were behind them at fourth, fifth and six.

Meanwhile, the women’s sailing team competed at the Dellenbaugh Trophy regatta at Brown over the weekend, where the Jumbos finished eighth, similarly to their co-ed counterparts.

“We were hoping for anything in the top 10,” Legler said. “We’re pleased they came in eighth. That event was stacked; out of 18 teams in the event, 17 of them were ranked in the top 20 nationally.”

Senior captain Julia Fuller shared in Legler’s optimism, noting that this meet served as a learning opportunity for her team.

“This regatta was a really great opportunity to prepare for the women’s New England Championships that will be at the same venue in a few weeks,” Fuller told the Daily in an email. “We came into the weekend hoping to learn a lot about the venue — what the breeze and current are like — and I think that we learned a lot. Obviously, we always are striving to do better, but we are not disappointed with a mid-fleet finish.”

In that regatta, the Jumbos’ A-boats scored a strong 66 points. Their B-boats followed close behind their teammates with 81 points. Brown, the regatta’s host school, dominated the field and finished with 46 total points. Brown’s B-boats only had 15 points to lead their team to the top score in the regatta. Yale finished in second place with a total score of 89.

Both Tufts sailing teams received strong performances from their upperclassmen. Fuller and fellow senior MaryClaire Kiernan were a crucial part of the women’s team’s success at Brown. On the co-ed side, Barbano led the charge along with sophomore Ian Morgan as they took part in 13 of 14 races.

Looking ahead, Tufts’ co-ed team will host the New England Team Racing Championship qualifying regatta at home in Medford. The Jumbos will need a top-four finish to qualify for the championship regatta. The qualifier will start on Saturday, the same day that the women’s sailing team will travel to Conn. College for the Emily Wick Trophy.