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Eagles Could Have Soared in NFL Except for That Missed Field Goal

By Sheri Ann Cheng
Team Member

The varsity and women's sailing teams sailed in their first regattas of the season this past weekend. Regattas were held at Dartmouth College, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Harvard University, and also here at MIT.

Conditions were cool, with light and shifty winds of 310 knots. The strongest finish of the weekend came from the team members who competed at Mass Maritime. MIT fell short of first place by one point, with Tufts beating them out 44 to 45.

Rob Damus '99 and Alan Sun '00 sailed in division A, while Sean Fabre '00 and Jen Shapiro '01 sailed in division B. In a small fleet (10 boats) and light air, staying in the breeze and watching for shifts in wind was key. "You can use it to maintain your position or triumphantly vault from say, 9th to 4th as Alan and I did in the last set," Damus said.

At MIT this weekend, the women sailed two separate regattas, the Man-Labs regatta on Saturday, and a Radial Invitational on Sunday. Jessica Lackey '00 was the star of the women's team this weekend, sailing many first place races both Saturday and Sunday.

A combination on great boat speed, good tacks, and smart sailing often put Lackey well ahead of the rest of the fleet. On Saturday, Lackey teamed up with Carla Pellicano '01 to sail in division B, and remained in first place by 18 points up until the last set.

Jen Kelly '99 and Sheri Cheng '99 sailed in division A, pretty much in the middle of the fleet and pretty inconsistent.

MIT finished eighth out of 15 boats in the Man-Labs. The Radial Invitational on Sunday was a singlehanded event, with Kelly sailing in division A and Lackey sailing in division B.

Since the invitational was a practice regatta for the New England qualifiers to be held at MIT later in the season, points were scored individually, and not as a team. Lackey finished third in her division, and Kelly finished fifth, one point from a fourth place finish.

Kelly said, "I think that the best part of the day was in the race that I was winning by a good margin, as I went around the windward mark, I passed the MIT freshmen on Harvard's course, also in first place."

Twenty-one teams sailed at Dartmouth at the Hurst Bowl, a two-day event. Dave Hellmuth '98 and Ned Patterson '98 sailed in division B all weekend, with Drew Mutch '98 and Anna Michel '98 sailing on Saturday and Doug DeCouto '97 and Yoko Kusumoto '97 sailing on Sunday in division A.

DeCouto said, "In a fleet that big, the mark roundings were totally key. You could lose 10 places in a mark rounding, especially because the fleet was glued together in a pack." MIT placed 16th out of 21 boats at Dartmouth.

The freshmen had a good start at the Frosh Invite at Harvard this weekend. John Beckos '01 and Nikki Spinello '01 were tied for first place in division A after the first four races in Larks. Ian McCreery '01 and Sarah Little '01 were in second place in division B after their first four races in Interclubs.

Beckos said, "We were really psyched and temporarily had second place as a team. Then we switched boats and both teams managed to sail very mediocre in the new boats."

MIT finished fourth overall at the event, behind BC, Tufts, and Harvard. With eight weekends in the season, each with a slew of regattas, the team is looking ahead to lots of competitive and fast sailing, as the weather gets colder and breezier.