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Sailors Finish Season with Races

By Sheri Cheng
Team Member

This past weekend saw the last sailing regattas before the varsity, women's, and freshman New England Championship this coming weekend. Saturday's conditions were rainy, with heavy, shifty winds. Sunday brought on a completely different conditions, with light, steadier winds, and more sunshine.

Down at the Coast Guard Academy, the women's sailing team competed in the Stu Nelson Trophy. Jen Kelly '99 and Carla Pellicano '01 sailed in A-division, and Jessica Lackey '00 and Madhulika Jain '00 sailed B-division.

Saturday's whaling winds were a challenge. The sailors had to be mobile, quick, and strong, and didn't stop hiking on the upwind legs. MIT placed 10th out of 14 teams.

Varsity sailors went to a Tufts University invite on Saturday in pouring rain. Dave Hellmuth '98 and Ned Patterson '98 sailed A-division, and Sasha Bouis '99 and Susanna Mierau '00 sailed in B-division.

"Despite the rain, I think we still had fun out there," Mierau said. "Racing Saturday saw some of the best conditions all term. Plenty of breeze to work with, predictable oscillatory shifts, and no hot sun beating down on us."

MIT placed sixth overall at the regatta, with A-division placing in third behind Tufts and Boston College.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, the freshmen were sailing at the Oberg Trophy, on BC's "industrial wasteland" course. The Nickerson, next week's freshman New England Championships, are to be held at BC.

John Beckos '01 and Nikki Spinello '01 sailed in A-division, and Alex MeVay '01 and Nannette Yang '01 sailed in B-division. MIT placed sixth out of eight teams.

"The weather was not to everyone's liking today, but we didn't melt in the rain and had a lot of positive experiences to take from this regatta. Despite the final results, we sailed faster as the day went on," Beckos said.

Tufts, UNH round out season

The last team race regatta of the fall season was held at Tufts on Sunday. A postponement and a bye in the first race of the day allowed MIT sailors to relax in the team van for hours before they finally hit the water at 1 p.m. Spud Mutch '98 and Anna Michel '98, Nuts Sun '00 and Sheri Cheng '99, and Ebort Damus '99 and Jen Shapiro '01, sailed in the regatta.

"What was noticeable in the way MIT attacked the team racing for the day at Tufts was our lack of a fixed routine," Damus said. "But don't let that mislead you. We finished 33, and with some groove training that could have easily been a 51 record and top honors. The key is that we were not in the groove. Finding, and maintaining the groove can be difficult when the wind does not fill in until 2 p.m. and you've spent half the day in front of the Oreo box."

On Sunday, varsity sailors went to the University of New Hampshire for a New England Series regatta. Temperatures had dropped since the last weekend, and there was actually ice in the boats.

Chris Stow '00 and Misty Benham '01 sailed in A-division, and Minh Thai '99 and Rebecca Breazeale '01 sailed in B-division. MIT finished second overall at this regatta, with high finishes in both divisions.

The freshmen were at Harvard University on Sunday in the light winds, sailing in a frosh invite. MeVay and Yang sailed A-division, and Tim Egan '01 and Jeremy Cheng '01 sailed B-division. MIT finished sixth out of nine teams.