Sailing team wins McGill Cup, posts impressive results at other regattas

Senior Chris Keller and sophomore Juliana Testa balance the boat during the Hood Trophy on Sept. 22. Courtesy Ken Legler

The Jumbos outclassed their competition over the weekend, competing at various regattas throughout New England, and even one in Canada.

The team sent two boats to the McGill Cup, which was hosted by the eponymous university in Montreal, Canada. Sophomores Evan Robison and Delilah Roberts handled the A Division boat under cloudy skies and a consistent breeze of 12 to 14 knots on Saturday, while first-years Connor Sheridan and Margo Muyres sailed in B Division. Both boats finished atop their respective divisions after the two-day event to propel Tufts to a first-place finish (26 total points).

Up in Burlington, Vt., the Jumbos sent a pair of boats to participate in the Callagy Ross Trophy. The A division duo of sophomore skipper Austen Freda and junior crew Duke Saunders accumulated 70 points to place fourth. First-year Alex Fasolo skippered the team’s B Division boat with sophomore Jacob Whitney on crew, as the pairing finished fifth with 82 points. With a combined score of 152 points, Tufts finished third overall behind host Vermont (72) and Bowdoin (147).

“We did really well the first day,” Whitney said. “I think we ended the first day in second place out of 10 teams. At the end of the second day, we ended up finishing in third place overall.”

Tufts also traveled to the Edgewood Yacht Club in Cranston, R.I., where Brown hosted the Women’s Showcase Finals. Teams competed in Z420-style sailboats. On Saturday, sailors experienced shifty winds between six to 12 knots, which allowed both divisions to complete the full slate of 10 races. Four more races were completed on Sunday under calmer conditions. Sophomore Talia Toland skippered the Jumbos’ A Division entrant with first-year Ann Sheridan handling crew duties, as the duo tallied 141 points to finish ninth in its division. Meanwhile, junior Charlotte Lenz and first-year Abbie Carlson split skipper duties for the team’s B division boat, while sophomore Marley Hillman and senior Taylor Hart split time as crew. The B division team tallied 183 points for 17th place. In all, the Jumbos accumulated 324 points to place 15th out of 18.

On Saturday at Great Herring Pond in Plymouth, Mass., Massachusetts Maritime Academy hosted the Crew’s Regatta, where Tufts sent two teams in each division to sail in FJ boats. The Jumbos posted an excellent performance despite rain throughout the day. In A Division, the “Jumbos 2” partnership of first-year skipper Jessica Friedman and first-year crew George Sidamon-Eristoff finished fourth with 20 points. Junior Kelsey Foster skippered the “Jumbos 1” boat in the same division, with first-year Lera Anders handling crew. Foster and Anders tallied 31 points to come in fifth, just behind their teammates. First-years Kristina Puzak and Hailey McKelvie expertly maneuvered the “Jumbos 1” boat in B Division to a first-place finish with just nine points in all. Despite Tufts’ impressive results, Brown was victorious with just 30 total points. The “Jumbos 1” (40 points) and “Jumbos 2” (49) teams placed third and fourth, respectively.

Meanwhile, Tufts competed across three divisions competed at the 17-team Captain Hurst Bowl, hosted by Dartmouth. Senior Florian Eenkema Van Dijk skippered the A Division boat with sophomore crew Juliana Testa, and the duo garnered 110 points to place 11th. Senior co-captain Chris Keller skippered Tufts’ B Division entrant for the first six races and the last seven races, while classmate Jackson McCoy skippered for the middle four races. Together with senior crew Sarah Bunney, the B Division team finished 11th with 113 points. Senior co-captain Jack Bitney skippered the C Division boat with classmate Ashley Smith and sophomore Maria Brush splitting crew duties. The trio accrued an impressive 62 points, earning second place in the C Division. In total, the team accumulated 285 points to earn 10th place at Dartmouth.

“Winds at the Captain Hurst Bowl were shifty because we were sailing in a mountainous region,” Bitney said. “Wind ends up getting tumbled in that area, which makes sailing a little bit more difficult and less consistent.”

Closer to home, the team sent a single team to participate at New England Match Racing Championships in Marblehead, Mass. The quartet of senior Samuel Shea, sophomores Lindsay Powers and Bram Brakman and first-year Ansgar Jordan steered the Jumbos to an eighth-place finish. As the top two finishers, Dartmouth and Boston College qualified for a spot at the national regatta in Corona del Mar, Calif. in November.

The Jumbos have grinded out six straight action-packed weekends, and as the end of fall season edges closer, Bitney expressed that the team is looking forward to competing in its final regattas of the campaign.

“We really only have two big weekends left,” Bitney said. “We have the Showcase 2 regatta next weekend and the Schell [Trophy] at Dartmouth. We are kind of past the hump of the season right now, and people are looking forward to the big regattas and finishing the season strong. This showcase is really competitive and we had to qualify for it two weeks ago, so it means a lot to us.”

Among other regattas this weekend, the team will drive down the I-95 corridor to compete at the Fairfield Cup hosted by Fairfield University, as well as the Co-ed Showcase Finals, hosted by Navy.