Varsity Notesby Mike Streicker '99
The fall season saw a vast improvement in the fortunes of the Co-ed sailing team. Our year began with an unexpected bit of good news as Ken Turnbull '98 announced that he would rejoin the team after not sailing last year. He immediately claimed the Varsity A boat over Michael Streicker '99 who sailed Varsity B throughout the season. Additionally, the team saw an incredible influx of freshman talent led by Doug Turnbull '01 and Phil Summers '01 as skippers and Whitney Birdwell '01 as crew, all of whom had integral parts in the outcome of our season. The first regatta of the season was the Nevins Trophy Regatta which took place just one week after practices began. Although the team suffered a disappointing finish, the regatta reminded us of the deficiencies that we had and allowed us to focus our practices on these problems. The following weekend the team traveled to Tufts to race in the Hood Trophy on Mystic Lake. The conditions were dismal as light air with one hundred eighty degree shifts characterized the weekend. The next weekend saw similar conditions at the Hap Moore at Coast Guard. The weekend of October 18th saw the Varsity team head down to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD for the Navy Fall Regatta. This four-division regatta is considered by some to be the best regatta of the fall as teams are required to show their depth by producing two laser sailors in addition to the usual two double-handed boats. The team of Ken Turnbull '98/Amelia Brown '99 and Michael Streicker '99/ Whitney Birdwell '01 sailed A and B respectively, while Phil Summers '01 sailed C and Chris Constant '00 and Doug Turnbull '01 alternated in D-division. Overall, the team sailed its way into a fourteenth place finish out of twenty, which was impressive considering the level of competition displayed at this regatta.
After practicing for a week in Yale's 420s, the team headed up to Hobart for the War Memorial Regatta. This qualification regatta for Co-ed Atlantic Coasts brought the best of MAISA together. As one would expect from Hobart in November, the weather was cold and wet with winds from the west blowing 5 - 10. Unfortunately for the team, we finished in eighth place which left us one spot away from qualifying for AC's. Overall, the team saw improved racing results and judging by the freshmen skill level and enthusiasm, the team looks to be in good position for a strong spring season.
Women's Team Updateby Emily Kalkstein '98
This season has just ended for the Women's team. Beginning with the Dartmouth intersectional in mid-September, we had a lot of work to do. Having lost Alison Aubrecht '97 to graduation last year, we were in search of a replacement B-division skipper. Her veteran crew Meg Smith '98 was ready to go, but it took some time to establish our B-division. With possible skippers Sarah Nestor '98 abroad for the semester and Amelia Kaufman '99 away for the year, we looked to crew Erica Just '99 to fill Alison's place. She did so with great dedication and enthusiasm, and she learned a lot over the course of the semester. Emily Kalkstein '98 sailed in A-division all semester as she had last year; however, she lost last year's crew Juliana Gamble '99 to her major and sailed instead with Michele Maxson '01. With two new people on the Women's regatta team, it was a tough schedule.
We sailed at Dartmouth, Navy, Princeton, King's Point, and St. Mary's - four out of the five were sailed by Kalkstein and Maxson in A-division and Just and Smith in B-division. The highlight of the season was Princeton Women's, at which we placed first, although we did lose the tie breaker to Queen's. We finished a disappointing eighth at MAISA Women's, hosted by KP, which was one place out of qualifying for the Women's Atlantic Coast Championships at St. Mary's. However, we got into ACCs anyway and finished our season there competing against the top teams from SAISA, NEISA, and MAISA in a competetive regatta. All in all, the season was a building one for us and we look forward to working our way back up in MAISA, perhaps back to fifth where we placed last spring with Aubrecht still around. The return of Nestor and Kaufman and the emergence of two new women skippers joining the team now promises a better season this upcoming spring.
Sloops Return to PUSTby Jason Balich '00
Long-standing tradition was reborn this past fall as Princeton fielded a sloop team for the first time in a number of years. In the past, Princeton has been just as well known for its big boat team as it was for its dinghy sailors. Hopefully, this bit of history will once again become reality as a new sloop team emerges. Planning began last spring with a spark of interest and grew from there, such that even in the team's infancy, the potential Princeton has in this arena is evident.
Although our geographic area of MAISA could not support a sloop regatta, the Princeton team was selected for the district championships by the strength of the team members sailing resumes which drew on past experience sailing big boats. So, the team (Jason Balich '00, Greg Davis '00, Chris Constant '00, Katie Gamble '98, and Jay Brown '01) headed down to the Naval Academy for the October 25 and 26 championships. We sailed in Navy's fleet of J/24's using all the class sails but the 150% genoa. In a light and shifty breeze on Saturday, we felt the pain of lacking a boat of our own to practice in back home as our synergy was less than perfect. However, we managed to make all the careless errors on the first few races such that we were able to personally track an incredible improvement from the first race which we finished 8th to the last race, sailed in a hefty 20 knots of wind on Sunday, where we were battling it out with the best of them; beating Georgetown, a nationally ranked sailing program.
It seemed that although our boat speed was slightly sub-par, our tactical abilities helped cover lost ground. Hopefully only old fashioned practice is needed to cure our shortcomings. It's clear that quite a bit of work needs to be done to improve Princeton's chances next time around but everyone is enthusiastic and ready to put in the hours to make a stronger team for next year's sloop regattas.
Nothing more than a Gung-ho Freshmanby Doug Turnbull '01
On the first day of freshman orientation, I walked up to Dillon gym in order to buy a lamp or two. Through the abundance of vendor tents, I noticed a sail. I walk up to the guy parked in front of the FJ, and said, "You know, friend, I have desired nothing more in life than to sail in college."
"Oh, you'll pay for a comment like that, son," explained the guy. I learned later that this guy was Mark Andrews, our hard working Regatta Captain, whose job would be to send me away to a regatta nine of the next ten weekends. I must confess fifteen hours of practice and two days at a regatta each week takes its toll on a young freshman plebe, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
As for the freshman team this year, a good time was had by all. The season began with about thirty curious freshmen packed into a small dorm room. For the first couple of warm fall practices, I was fortunate to sail with a number of these fellow freshmen, many of whom stuck it through to the bitter end.
We ended the season in a snow-covered Boston sailing in the Freshman Atlantic Coasts. It was mighty frigid, and we had to sail in Techs as well as FJs. A high point of the weekend was having "Coach" Brandon Schwartz '97 "showing us youngsters how it is." Thanks to everyone who has come before us and built the Princeton sailing team so that I could go for a sail every now and again.
Postseason Reportby Emily Kalkstein '98
With the season wrapping up, we are already making plans for the interim and next season. We bring the boats back from Raritan YC for storage to the sheds on Carnegie Lake after each season. Each winter we go over the boats minutely and repair the gel coat and anything else that needs replacement or maintenance. In this fashion, we have kept the boats going for much longer than their originally anticipated life. Bought initially in 1990, the boats have made it through seven years (fourteen seasons) -- two years longer than the normal lifespan of collegiate dinghies.
Delving into this process has been hard work the last several years as the boats have aged, but we hope to keep the problems to a minimum until we are able to replace our current fleet. Part of our resolve to get the maintenance done as soon as possible has been the incredible initiative of a trip to Florida this January. For the past two years, the team has travelled by team cars with our fleet and coach boat down to Palm Island Resort on the Gulf coast of Florida, south of Sarasota. For a reseasonable amount of money, we are able to stay in resort condos for a full week, with our fleet on the beach ready to go sailing each day of the week. The past two years have been so successful and fun that we have been invited back by the Resort and are making plans currently to go once again during our January Intersession break after exams. The team plans to travel down and be there from January 24 through January 31 this year.
Looking beyond this mid-winter sailing rendezvous, we are planning to expand our team for this spring's season. Each year there is an expected turnover in team membership between the fall and spring seasons. For example, this spring we will be losing our Varsity B-skipper Mike Streicker '99 as he heads off to Paris for a semester abroad; simultaneously, we will be getting Sarah Nestor '98, our Women's B-skipper, back from her semester abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. Many of us have difficulty working out our academic schedules to meet the demanding time commitment of our practice schedule. For this reason alone, some people have problems hanging on to each semester of sailing. On the other hand, we expect several new students to join this team after a semester of thinking it over and reworking their academic plans. We are excited to have at least one new member come down to Florida with us in January, a good month before the regular spring season will begin. The team is planning on practicing on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday again next semester, with the possibility of a smaller practice on a fourth day to include those who must take Tuesday/Thursday afternoon classes for their majors. This is the typical dilemma our team faces each season, but we are confident that we will be adding names to our roster rather than losing them this spring. If those newcomers can withstand February regatta season, they can withstand any of the other trials of the Princeton Sailing Team!
Please look for our Fall Newsletter 1997 to be posted as soon as it goes out this month. Results and a general look back at this fall season will be included. For more information, please contact Commodore Emily Kalkstein '98 at emilyk@Princeton.EDU.
We'd like to thank the Gambles, Kalksteins, Andrews, Liguoris, Turnbulls, and Maclay for providing housing this Fall. Also we'd like to thank Raritan Yacht Club for their support and assistance.
Princeton Sailing Apparel:
Can you spare some floor? Every weekend Princeton sailors travel up and down the east coast to compete. Unfortunately traveling can take its toll on the pocketbook and a hotel room can be a heavy expense for a college student to bear. This is where you can help. We seek neither food nor beds. All we ask is a piece of floor on which to throw a sleeping bag. If you have a floor and would like to help support college sailing, please contact the team. (Note: While all floor offers are welcome, we would have a special place in our hearts for floors near Norfolk, Virginia).