Sailing squadron maneuvers through seven regattas

Senior co-captain Florian Eenkema Van Dijk and senior Sarah Bunney navigate Mystic Lake during practice on Sept. 21. Courtesy Ken Legler

The Tufts sailing team participated in seven regattas over the weekend of Sept. 22, its third week of the 2018–19 season, with several impressive results. The women’s team took part in the Mrs. Hurst Bowl, hosted by Dartmouth, while co-ed boats took part in various regattas throughout New England.

At the Harvard Invitational, with winds ranging from three to six knots on the Charles River, the Jumbos finished in second place with just 46 points. Tufts’ B division team accumulated 35 points, while its A division duo posted 11 points over five different races, including a first-place finish in the second race. Tufts only fell short to the University of Rhode Island. The A division boat was skippered by senior Andrew Savage with classmate Kahler Newsham as crew, while the B team had sophomore Evan Robison as skipper and junior Michaela Morris as crew.

The Jumbos had mixed results elsewhere. At the Sherman Hoyt Trophy, hosted by Brown University, Tufts struggled to get going, finishing 14th out of the 18 teams. The weekend was especially challenging after the B team’s disqualification in the seventh race, but senior co-captains Jack Bitney (skipper) and Ian Morgan (crew) were able to reduce the deficit with top-two results in the second, fifth and 10th races.

“The boat that sailed B fleet was only disqualified in one race, giving them a score of 19 [1+ the amount of boats in the fleet] for that race,” sophomore Jacob Whitney told the Daily via electronic message. “This is worse than getting a last place finish for that race, but luckily they performed well enough in their other races to make up for this setback. This disqualification happens when they are protested out of the race [either by another boat or the race committee] for committing a foul.”

At the Salt Pond Invite, hosted by Rhode Island, where winds were shifty and ranged from three to 14 knots, Tufts finished with 92 points, placing 6th out of 18 teams. The team also sent two fleets to the Norman Reid Trophy, hosted by Boston College. The first fleet finished fourth of 17 teams, while the second fleet finished 13th. The “Jumbos 1” A division team was skippered by sophomore Bram Brakman and classmate Maria Brush as crew, while the B division team, which recorded two first-place finishes, was led by sophomore Wells Drayton with senior Marisa Permatteo as crew.

Closer to home, Tufts hosted the Ross Trophy, in which six of its boats participated. Rhode Island placed first in Boston Harbor, beating the top Tufts team by just two points. At the Ross Trophy, the Jumbos’ younger sailors earned some valuable competitive and technical experience.

Tufts also hosted the Hood Trophy at Upper Mystic Lake, with winds starting at 10–20 knots and calming to 6-12 knots by the end of the regatta. The Jumbos sent two fleets to participate, both of which performed well with first and third-place finishes, respectively.

“The Hood [Trophy] went very well [for us],” senior co-captain Jack Bitney told the Daily in an email. “[The regatta secured] us ranking points from our top boats sailing for Jumbos 1.”

The Hood Trophy featured Tufts first-years Charlie Hibben and Sam Merson, who sailed with senior co-captain Sabina Van Mell and junior Emily Calandrella on the “Jumbos 2” A division boat. Sailing on the “Jumbos 2” B team were sophomore skipper Austin Freda and junior crew Duke Saunders. 

Senior Jackson McCoy skippered the “Jumbos 1” A division boat, with first-year Ryutaro Sochi and junior Emma Clutterbuck alternating as crew. The B division team, led by senior Christopher Keller and senior co-captain Florian Eenkema Van Dijk with junior Juliana Testa as crew, recorded six top-three finishes as the “Jumbos 1” team sealed victory.

The familiar setting at Upper Mystic Lake contributed to the team’s success at the Hood Trophy.

“The weather usually isn’t much of an issue, it’s mostly just the wind that’s variable and can affect the team’s performance,” Whitney said. “Usually in lighter wind, lighter boats [meaning the skipper and crew’s combined weights] perform better, and the same for heavier wind and heavier boats. Since the wind is the same for all teams, it mostly just comes down to who can sail in the light, variable wind better, which is what our home venue [where the Hood was sailed] gives us great practice in.”

On the women’s side, Tufts sent two fleets to Lake Mascoma in New Hampshire, where Dartmouth hosted the Mrs. Hurst Bowl. The first fleet finished seventh, and the second fleet finished 12th. Sophomore Talia Toland skippered the “Jumbos 1” A division team with first-year crew Audrey Becker on board for the first two races and first-year crew Ann Sheridan on board for the rest. First-year sailor Abbie Carlson skippered the B division team with senior crew Taylor Hart. In the “Jumbos 2” team, junior Charlotte Lenz skippered with sophomore crew Marley Hillman in the A division, while junior Elena Gonick skippered the B division side with classmate Kelsey Foster as crew.


The regattas will continue thick and fast for Tufts. The sailing team will participate in five regattas, including the Moody Trophy at Rhode Island and the Women’s Showcase, hosted by St. Mary’s. Tufts will also compete at MIT, Coast Guard and New Hampshire, which will serve as crucial tune-ups for upcoming regattas.

“Important Inter-conference showcase regattas are on the horizon for the team, as well as match race qualifiers for nationals, so we are all gearing up for an exciting next few weeks,” Bitney said.