BOSTON, MASS. – MIT hosted the final team race regatta before the conference championships that will all happen this weekend. Almost all the top players in the country were there, save a few MAISA teams like Georgetown, Navy, and George Washington University, meaning that this event was possibly the closest level to what that of the nationals will be in May. Conditions were light and shifty on Saturday, buidling throughout the day. Sunday was windy, gusting in the 20s at times, and as always on the Charles, very shifty.
The Bulldogs sailed in similar fashion to each of the past few weekends. They dropped a few races early in the preliminary round, but came back much stronger in the gold rounds of six to rise up the rankings. They came in second overall, just one race behind Boston College. The race committee was unable to finish the final gold round, which left both the Bulldogs and the Eagles with only one race to go to complete the event – the race against each other. Whichever team had won that race would have taken the regatta, but time decided the event instead. The regatta remains a resounding success for the Bulldogs, who beat out rivals No. 1 Roger Williams and No. 2 Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Similarly, they defeated last year's national champions, the College of Charleston, west coast powerhouse Stanford, and the classic rival, Harvard – all by significant margins.
Knapp reported some details about the event. "On Saturday, we struggled a bit to get off the line. We had all three boats over early in our first loss against Harvard. We did a great job after that, and were able to make a number of comebacks on the last beat by keeping it close. We converted some losing combos well, and used the dock as an obstruction to make some plays happen." Knapp also reported that on Saturday, the team started much better and had to do less work. They dropped a couple of 2-3-4 covering schemes, something that they will continue to work hard on in practice, but they mostly built on Saturday's strengths and fixed any weaknesses.
The Bulldogs must be feeling ready for next week's qualifier. They continue to improve each week, and are making fewer and fewer mistakes at each event. Should they find their stride earlier in the event than they have been, they will likely be an extremely strong team come nationals.
The Bulldogs were also at the BU trophy, a fleet race hosted just under the Harvard bridge from MIT. A very similar set of conditions would have dominated that race course. The Bulldogs came out on top after a close last set, with first-year skiper Nicholas Marwell and senior crew Caroline Colwell holding onto the lead in the last race to win by just one point over the home team Boston University. The duo won B division, again by a point. Also doing well in thier division to finish fourth in A were sophomore skipper Chrissie Klingler and first year crew Cate Mollerus. For all of these sailors, fleet racing has been on the backburner while team racing takes priority for Yale in the spring. To show a dominant performance at BU, one of the trickiest venues in all of college sailing, is a postive sign for the young team moving forward.
Find results at www.scores.collegesailing.org
Report filed by Nic Baird '19, Yale Sports Publicity