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Sailing third in Schell Trophy Regatta

By Drew Freides

The MIT varsity sailing team produced its strongest showing in the past two years this weekend by placing third out of 17 schools in the prestigious Schell Trophy Regatta held on the Charles River at the MIT Sailing Pavilion.

More importantly, the team placed second out of the New England schools, enabling them to qualify for the Atlantic Coast Championships which will also be held at MIT in two weeks. This regatta could be the start of the sailing team's bid to become one of the premier sailing teams not only in New England, but also in the country.

The team has been composed mainly of sailors who lacked a great deal of dinghy experience upon entering MIT. Such experience is vital in the collegiate sailing competitions in which the team competes. The team has also been at a distinct disadvantage due to a lack of practice time. Practices usually begin at 4 pm and last until about 6:30 pm, while most competitive schools practice as much as four to five hours daily.

The outgoing head coach, Hatch Brown, has spent the past three years developing the team's skills. Many skippers and crews have stormed out of nowhere to become very competitive sailors during his tenure.

At the beginning of last week, Brown -- for the past 20 years looked up to as the "father" of New England collegiate sailing -- informed the MIT sailors that there would be a new head coach. Brown will continue to run the Sailing Pavilion and all of its associated duties, but Skip Whyte will be the new head coach.

Whyte, like Brown, was a successful college sailor. Not only did he compete on one of University of Rhode Island's most competitive sailing teams, but he has also coached the Boston University team to two National Championships. With the ground work laid down by Brown, and the rejuvenated attitude that has accompanied Whyte, the team hopes for great things for the end of the fall season and the upcoming spring season, in which MIT is hosting the National Championships.

This past weekend at the Schell Trophy, Dale Hinman '90 skippered in A Division and Drew Freides '90 skippered in B Division. The crews, Brian Liu '92 and Rema Woo '92, switched halfway through the regatta so that they would remain in the same boats. This was due to the fact that at the midpoint of the regatta, A and B Divisions switched from sailing Larks and Techs respectively. Hinman and Liu, and later Woo, sailed impressively, finishing fifth in a very competitive A Division, while Freides finished fourth in B Division, just six points out of first, with the help of both Woo and Liu. The crew on the dock that helped out the competitors consisted of Mike Bowers '92, Kyle Welch '90, Mike Leary '91, Warren Wu '90, and Monique Lawrence '92.

(Drew Freides '90 is captain of the varsity sailing team.)