By Jordan Fairchild
Elm Staff Writer
The Washington College sailing team competed in a pair of regattas over the weekend of April 16-17. The team hosted the Grant Race on the Chester River in addition to participating in the Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association Spring Women’s Championship in Ithaca, N.Y.
During the Grant, the WC sailing team placed second out of 14 teams.
In the A Division, junior skipper Stewart Gurnell, junior crew Andrew Tran, and sophomore crew Megan Callis sailed their boat to a second-place finish with 53 points. The squad had two first-place victories and four second-place results. For races 1-4 and 7-14, Tran was crew. Callis served as crew for races five and six.
The WC sailors won the tiebreaker against Columbia University to secure their second-place finish overall in the A Division.
In the B Division, sophomore skipper Alex Heim, junior crew Jon Kelly, and junior crew Emma Macturk earned the team a third-place finish with 59 points. Kelly served as crew for races 1-8 and 13-14. Kelly and Heim earned three first place victories together and took one second-place result.
“As a team, we’ve been really good about pushing our limits in practice and adjusting to different wind conditions,” Kelly said. “We have been doing race related drills in practice in order to simulate what would happen in a race [to prepare for this regatta].”
Macturk was crew for races 9-12 and claimed a victory in one race with Heim in Division B.
“The Chester is a tidal river, so sailing conditions change rapidly,” Macturk said. “We’ve done really well adapting to the shifting wind and currents, which required skill to identify and respond to.”
With a total of 112 points, the WC sailors came away with a second-place result. They were only two points away from the first place team: Princeton University with 110 points.
“The team has a mix of experienced and inexperienced sailors, growing from five to 17 in the course of a year,” sophomore Connor Cooper said. “Which has been a challenge, but we have been working hard and it is starting to show.”
At the MAISA Spring Women’s Championship, hosted by Cornell University, the Shorewomen placed 11th out of 14 teams.
In the A Division, sophomore skipper Kennedy Jones and sophomore crew Laurel Krause took 11th place with 149 points.
Freshman skipper Hartley Meyer and junior crew Shalis Hunt placed 11th in the B Division with 157 points.
“We are a very young team,” Jones said. “We are in a building period, which means that we have to grind, but we are starting to see the hard work pay off.”
The WC sailing team will go on to compete at the Boston Dinghy Cup Open Fleet Race, hosted by Massachusetts Institution of Technology and Harvard University, on April 23-24. This will be the final race for the WC sailors for their spring season.