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Sailing Teams Begins Season With New England Regattas

By Daniel B. Nestor
team member

The MIT sailing team opened their season this past weekend, competing in several regattas around New England. Variable winds characterized the first weekend of the Engineers' season. After only three days of practice, MIT sailors traveled to three regattas and competed in two more home events on Saturday and Sunday.

Women's Captain Danielle Ames '96 with crew Juan L. Rodriguez '97, and Men's Captain Daniel B. Nestor '96 with crew Mark A. Sapirie '96, travelled to Dartmouth College to compete in the Captain Hurst Bowl, where MIT finished a disappointing 12th out of 17. The Hurst Bowl is an intersectional regatta, with teams from both the New England and Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Associations. Light winds on Saturday allowed for only four races, but an intense 25-knot breeze on Sunday allowed for 16 more races.

Wind was scarce on Saturday in Boston as well. The women's team waited out the morning at the MITSailing Pavilion for the Mann Labs Regatta. In the afternoon, enough breeze appeared to race five races in each of the two divisions. Patricia B. Schmidt '96, Yoko Kusumoto '97, Jennifer A. Kelly '99, and Carolynn E. Bischoff '98 secured a 7th place overall finish for MIT out of 12 teams.

On Sunday, Douglas S. DeCouto '97, sailing with Lisa M. Collins '97, and Wilfredo I. Santos '96, sailing with John E. Patterson '98, travelled to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. DeCouto skippered multiple first-place finishes in heavy winds, and was only five points out of first place overall in his division. MIT finished fourth out of nine teams.

Also on Sunday, Schmidt and Christina Chu '98 competed in a women's Laser Radial invitational.

This upcoming weekend, MIT sailors will compete at Brown University, the University of New Hampshire, MIT, and BU. At BU, the Engineers will be competing for the Hatch Brown Trophy. Brown, an inductee of the BU Athletic Hall of Fame and the College Sailing Hall of Fame, is an MIT women's team coach and the sailing master of the MIT Sailing Pavilion.