Sailing team posts impressive results at sextet of regattas

Junior Emma Clutterbuck and senior Jackson McCoy maneuver their boat during the Hood Trophy regatta on Mystic Lake on Sept. 22. Courtesy Ken Legler

After another tiresome weekend chockfull of multi-day regattas, the Jumbos show no signs of slowing down. Despite the jammed schedule, the team produced a wave of energy to compete at a high level.

This was immediately apparent at the George Warren Smith Trophy, hosted by MIT. Tufts’ two entrants faced 18 other boats, including local rivals BU, Northeastern, Harvard and MIT. Heading into the final two races on Sunday, the Jumbos’ duo found itself in an enviable position.

The Jumbos 2 team, skippered by first-years Ansgar Jordan and Alex Fasolo with fellow first-years Mo Liu and Jessica Friedman as well as sophomore Jacob Whitney as crew, found itself in pole position after 10 of 12 races. However, the Jumbos’ other entrant, skippered by first-years Samuel Merson and Charlie Hibben with the experienced pair of junior Emily Calandrella and senior co-captain Sabina Van Mell as crew, pulled ahead to top the final standings. In the A division, Merson and Calandrella placed second and first in the final two races of the weekend to key the comeback victory, while Jumbos 2 placed second overall.

Merson explained that despite their collegiality, or perhaps due to it, the Tufts sailors harnessed a competitive spirit at MIT.

“While both Jumbos’ [teams] competing against each other is intense, it is often nice to see a familiar face on the water,” Merson told the Daily in an email. “However, I think the fact that you know another sailor on the water means you want to beat them in a race even more.”

Competition was not limited to Massachusetts waters for the Jumbos. At the Moody Trophy, hosted by URI, a veteran team featuring senior Florian Eenkema van Dijk and senior co-captain Jack Bitney as skippers and sophomores Juliana Testa and Maria Brush on crew sailed its way to a fourth-place finish out of 18 teams. Tufts’ A division boat took first place in the third race of the regatta. Not to be outdone, the team’s B division entrant rattled off a first place finish in the fourth race.

Down in Connecticut, the Jumbos battled against host Coast Guard Academy, among others, at the Danmark Trophy. The B division duo of senior skipper Jackson McCoy and junior crew Emma Clutterbuck placed second out of 20 schools, which included a first-place finish in their first race. Their performance steered Tufts to a 10th-place finish overall.

The furthest Tufts traveled this weekend was to Maryland for the Women’s Showcase hosted by St. Mary’s. The Jumbos came away from the long trip with a ninth-place finish, including fourth-place showings from the A and B division teams in the third and fourth races, respectively. The A division side was skippered by sophomore Talia Toland and crewed by first-year Ann Sheridan, while the B division team was comprised of first-year skipper Abbie Carlson and senior crew Taylor Hart.

Tufts sent two more teams to the two-day Chris Loder Trophy, hosted by UNH. The Jumbos again performed admirably, finishing third and sixth out of twelve teams. The Jumbos 1 A division boat started off strong with first-place finishes in each of the two opening races, while the B division side topped the field in its third race. Not to be outdone, the B division Jumbos 2 team managed a second place showing on the first race as well.

Back home, a young Tufts squad hosted the Lark Invite on Mystic Lake. There were many Jumbos on display, with three teams in all — each of which came away with at least one top-three race finish. Tufts finished first, third and fifth out of nine competing teams. The Jumbos 2 team finished atop the podium with 96 points, with first-years Taro Sochi and William DeLong skippering alongside classmates Mallory Hood and Samantha Zwecker as crew.

As the Jumbos settle into the season and their chemistry grows, strong pairings are becoming evident.

“The team is settling in well into the practice schedule with a strong [first-year] class,” Merson said. “There is a competitive atmosphere of wanting to get better as individuals and as team, raising the level for everyone. There are definitely clear pairings that are forming, but some are still in the works.”

This includes acclimation by many of the first-years to the busy schedule of college sailing, ranging from practice time to new levels of wind.

“Weekday practices, as well as morning lift sessions, have worked their way into everyone’s schedules,” Jordan told the Daily in an email. “While we try to sail in the crew pairings set up by Coach Ken [Legler], there’s also a certain amount of experimentation with teammates due to injuries, people having class conflicts during practice and the need for heavier crews on windy days … It’d [also] be nice to have some more wind on Mystic Lake, we’ve missed in total about a week of practice because there wasn’t any!”

The Jumbos’ busy season shows no signs of letting up, with five more regattas this weekend. The Susan Roger ’75 Memorial, hosted by Cornell, will be accompanied by a scenic drive through the elegant countryside of upstate New York, as Tufts sails on.