Sailing team shines at various events, looks to finish fall schedule strong

Senior Chris Keller and sophomore Juliana Testa navigate the waters of Mystic Lake during a Tufts sailing team practice on Sept. 21. Courtesy Ken Legler

The Jumbos’ fall season has reached its halfway point, with the sailors from Somerville having participated in over 30 regattas in six weeks. The team cranked out yet another seven-regatta weekend, posting impressive results and reinforcing their ability to compete at a high level.

Sophomore Delilah Roberts noted that the conditions enabled the Jumbos to perform well on the water.

“The weather at most of the regattas [was] optimal for sailing, with medium to light breeze[s] [meaning] technical sailing at venues across the board,” Roberts told the Daily in an electronic message.

Tufts sent two boats to the Coed Showcase A regatta, hosted by MIT. The A division duo of senior skipper Jackson McCoy and junior crew Emma Clutterbuck sailed in a Firefly dinghy and scored 113 points to place fifth of 18 teams. The B division side sailed in FJ sailboats and tallied 102 points, finishing fourth. Senior Cam Holley skippered the first 12 races, while senior co-captain took over the skipper role for the final five regattas. Senior co-captain Ian Morgan handled crew duties in all 17 races. With a combined score of 215, the Jumbos finished sixth overall on the Charles River, in the top half of competing teams.

After a six-hour trek through the Berkshires and the rolling hills of upstate New York on Saturday morning, the Jumbos arrived at Cayuga Lake for the Susan Rogers ’75 Memorial regatta, where southerly winds carried in a squall of intense rain. After a delayed start, Tufts sent out an all-first-year team of skippers Lera Anders and Alexandra Talbot and crews Audrey Becker and Paige Tyler. In A division, Anders and Becker recorded 163 points, while Talbot and Tyler matched that score in B division. With a combined score of 326, Tufts finished seventh of eight teams, far behind host Cornell, which was carried by its A division boat (30 points) and put up a total mark of 115.

The sailing team also traveled to the Thames River in southeastern Connecticut to participate in the 13-team Stu Nelson regatta, hosted by Conn. College. First-year skipper Abbie Carlson and senior crew Taylor Hart maneuvered the A division boat to a total of 89 points for an 11th-place finish. Meanwhile, junior skipper Charlotte Lenz and sophomore crew Marley Hillman took home a sixth-place result with 53 points in B division.

The Jumbos also competed against seven schools at the Great Herring Pond Open in Buzzards Bay, where they sent two teams. First-years George Sidamon-Eristoff, Taro Sochi and Mallory Hood combined with junior Margaret Veltri to accumulate 25 points and a second-place result for the “Jumbos 1” squad’s A division boat. Robison skippered the B division side with Roberts and first-year Margo Muyres as crew. The trio put up 22 points to secure a second-place overall finish for the “Jumbos 1” team. The “Jumbos 2” team finished right behind in third, as junior crew Kelsey Foster and first-year crew Vinicius Freitas both got experience alongside junior skipper Elena Gonick in the A division boat’s third-place finish. Salve Regina won both divisions to key its overall victory.

Meanwhile, the Jumbos also competed at the Sister Esther Open in Newport, R.I. The squad earned five top-three finishes in 20 races, amassing a total of 172 points overall to clinch a ninth-place finish. The Jumbos’ A division boat was helmed by sophomore skipper Talia Toland and first-year crew Ann Sheridan, while the B division side was made up of sophomore skipper Bram Brakman and first-year skipper Alex Fasolo with sophomores Jacob Whitney and Maria Brush on crew. 

Further north, Tufts sent three boats to compete in the Hewitt Trophy, hosted by Dartmouth. Two groups raced in the Division 1 group, while one competed in Division 2. The Division 1 side of seniors Chris Keller and Sarah Bunney finished first with 64 points, winning four of its 16 races. First-year skipper Charlie Hibben and senior crew and co-captain Sabina Van Mell steered the team’s second entrant to a sixth-place finish with 95 points. Meanwhile, first-year skipper Sam Merson and junior crew Emily Calandrella placed fifth in Division 2, accumulating 100 points.

Sophomore Evan Robison remarked that the team has fostered strong chemistry this season, empowering returning sailors to perform well and integrating its new members seamlessly.

“A lot of people have been sailing for a couple years now, [so it is] drama-free when it comes to our pairings,” Robison said.

After an impressive performance in the weekend’s myriad regattas and with the second half of the season on the horizon, the sailing team is brimming with excitement and confidence. Tufts will make the short trip to Marblehead, Mass. this weekend for the New England Match Racing Championship, while also visiting Brown for the Women’s Showcase Finals and making a return trip to Dartmouth for the Captain Hurst Bowl.