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Boston Weather: 45.0°F | Overcast

Sailors Place Second in Harvard'ss Wood Trophy Race

By Sheri Cheng
Team Member

Conditions were varied at each of the four regattas attended by MIT sailors this weekend. MIT sent competitors to races at Harvard University, Massachusetts Maritime College, Boston Harbor, and the University of New Hampshire.

Four divisions of boats raced in Sunday'sWood Trophy at Harvard. While the day started with a light to non-existent breeze, it eventually filled in from the east. Since there weren't many teams present, the A and B divisions (varsity) sailed together and C (junior varsity) and D (freshman) sailed together. Sean Fabre '00 and Jen Shapiro '01 sailed in A division, Jen Kelly '99 and Sheri Cheng '98 in B division, Jessica Lackey '00 and Madhulika Jain '00 in C division, and Ian McCreery '01 and Sarah Chalos '01 in D division.

"The most important thing I found was to talk to your teammates,"McCreery said. "With another boat in the division, discussing [sailing tactics] can be very helpful."

McCreery and Chalos placed first in D division, often placing second or third in the entire C/D-division fleet. MIT placed second overall in the regatta.

Second at Mass. Maritime

Sunday's invite at Mass. Maritime was conducted in 420s with overcast skies and variable wind of 715 knots. Dave Hellmuth '98 and Ned Patterson '98 sailed in A division and Juan Rodriguez '98 and Susanna Mierau '00 sailed in B division.

When the dust settled at the end of the day (after a protest hearing that lasted over a half hour), MIT ended up second overall with 19 points, behind Boston College with 13 points. Rodriguez and Mierau sailed to a solid third in B division with consistent finishes, and Patterson and Hellmuth finished first in A division.

The New England Sloop Championship, hosted by Tufts University, were held at Boston's Courageous Sailing Center on Saturday and Sunday.

Alan Sun '00, Drew Mutch '98, and Doug De Couto '97 represented MIT at this regatta. A predominantly east wind ranged from 313 knots on Saturday and 518 knots on Sunday. MIT placed ninth of 11 teams competing.

According to Mutch, "a lot of people told us we had the best tacks - we could roll better than anybody - and we also had awesome crew work through sets, jibes, and douses, as well as good upwind speed."

"Unfortunately, it was not enough to make up for mostly bad starts,"Mutch said. "There was often only five boat lengths between second and 10th. A clean start, on time with speed and a lane makes a huge difference, because the first and maybe second boat would be able to be in front of the pack and free of the problems with rounding a mark with eight other boats."

The New England Series regatta at UNH on Saturday was cancelled in the middle of the first race due to inadequate wind. Rob Damus '99, Carla Pellicano '01, Chris Stow '00, and Misty Benham '01 trekked up to New Hampshire early in the morning and spent a good portion of the day appreciating foliage at UNH's pond.