Sailing enjoyed the Storm Trysail Foundation’s Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta at Larchmont Yacht Club over Columbus Day weekend despite suffering the loss of a spinnaker on the first day of the races. Although the Ephs finished last, the team posted an impressive fifth-place finish in the final on Oct. 10.
The Ephs sailed a borrowed J-109 in the race. The boat was skippered by Josh Revkin ’13 with co-captains Andrew Lorenzen ’12 and Elizabeth Dorr ’12 calling tactics and trimming main.
“[Larchmont] is a great opportunity to learn how to sail big boats and gain experience sailing a single boat as a team,” Lorenzen said.
Winds on Saturday and Sunday were at a steady 10 to 15 knots in the morning, gusting up to 20 in the afternoons. The races were course fours and threes, with upwind marks just over a mile from the starting line.
Day Two dawned cool, but it was clear that the Ephs had vastly improved from the first day of competition, as their starts were more competitive and their tacks were smoother. More importantly, the team had a borrowed spinnaker. Williams placed fifth in the final race on Sunday but came in last overall, while Maine Maritime and Mass. Maritime tied for first.
After a solid start during the first race on Saturday, the spinnaker blew out on the second downwind leg of the race. The team handled the upset well, but as a result the Ephs were forced to sail the remaining three races of the day with the significant handicap of sailing wing-on-wing rather than with a spinnaker, which maximizes downwind speed. The disadvantage led to eighth-place finishes on Day One in the second and fourth races, but the team overcame enormous odds to beat Michigan for seventh in the third race.
Head Coach Rich Cote was thrilled with the team’s performance. “It’s great to get new sailors onto big boats, to experience racing at that level,” he said. “I’m sure next year our sailors … will place even higher.”
The team will next compete this weekend at the University of Southern Maine.