Sailing team competes in flurry of regattas along East Coast
By Caroline Buck , The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Dartmouth’s coed and women’s sailing teams have been busy over the past two weekends, competing in five events on March 24 and four more on Saturday.
The New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association has the most depth of any conference in the nation and is therefore able to offer an array of regattas in one weekend, according to head coach John Storck.
“A few of the events were used in varying degrees as developmental regattas,” Storck said. “In our conference, there are a bunch of different regattas to go to each weekend.”
Storck said that one of the interesting aspects of sailing compared to many other team sports is that the range of competition on a given weekend allows for less experienced athletes to have a chance to be challenged.
“We are able to give them the opportunity to succeed by gaining experience through competition,” Storck said.
Rachel Moncton ’12 echoed Storck’s sentiment and said that the large number of regattas recently has been beneficial in helping the team continue developing skills it had practiced over spring break.
“The focus this whole year has been to work on ‘the process,’ taking every race as a new learning opportunity and not obsessing about results,” Moncton said.
Toward the end of spring break, Dartmouth finished in fourth place at the Owen, Mosbacher and Knapp Trophies, the Boston Dinghy Club Cup and the Women’s Dublin Trophy Team Race. Yale University won both the Owen, Mosbacher and Knapp Trophies and the Boston Dinghy Club Cup, while Boston College secured the win at the Dublin Trophy Team Race.
Additionally, Dartmouth sent sailors to the Admiral Moore Team Race, in which the team placed eighth, as well as to the Southern Series Two, where it finished in sixth.
“Practice has shown that we are really improving a lot, making good strides, but have not had a competitive [coed team] result to back the way we feel about it,” Storck said. “Our team racing conference championships are the furthest away of all our championships.”
This past weekend, the Big Green competed at four events — the Dellenbaugh Trophy, Mystic Lake Team Race, Boston University Trophy and Ferrerone Team Race.
“We had a later start to the season than a lot of our competitors, a lot of other schools had been to other big events,” Storck said. “This is really our first time going into an event having practiced for a few weeks and really feeling confident about ourselves.”
The highlight of the past weekend’s events was the Dellenbaugh Trophy, at which the women came in second place.
“The energy of this season is building off the success of our fall season, where the coed team placed second and the women’s team a close third in their respective Atlantic Coast Championships,” Catie O’Sullivan ’14 said.
O’Sullivan said that recent results like the Dellenbaugh Trophy are a product of the team’s intensity and focus.
“The [women’s team is] relatively young, with no seniors, and did a really nice job this past fall of constantly improving and climbing the national rankings, which do not really mean much,” Storck said
The national rankings are determined by an open coaches’ poll conducted by Sailing World magazine and are released every two weeks. Although Dartmouth has historically been ranked near the top, Storck said that he does not give the rankings much weight.
“Frozen water and a lot of kids going abroad in the winter means that we basically start sailing at the beginning of spring break, or sometimes we can squeeze in Winter term regattas before Winter term finals start, just to shake the rust off,” Storck said.
Moncton said that she is optimistic she will finish her final season on a high note.
“The team is more prepared and focused now than we have ever been,” she said. “It is nice to be back already on our lake.”
This weekend, the Big Green will race in Cambridge, Mass. at the Marchiando/Friis Team Race Trophies and Central Series Three, the last of a series of regattas before the conference championships begin.