Varsity Notesby Jason Balich '00
With more team races being sailed each year-now even in the fall-team racing seems to be the latest craze in collegiate sailing. Although this form of racing has gained notoriety lately, it is traditionally the mainstay of the early spring schedule. The Princeton Coed Sailing Team opened its season at the St. Mary's Team Race in Maryland, fresh off a week of practice in Florida. Unfortunately, a mere week of practice could not compare to the month of hard training most of the more southern schools were able to enjoy. Consequently, Princeton finished the regatta a disappointing twelfth place.
Princeton teams fit nicely into the category of underdog; and the sailing team is no different. At the Georgetown Team Race the next weekend, the trio of Doug Turnbull '01/Andy Goodman '99, Chris Constant '00/Jay Brown '01, and Jason Balich '00/Emma Torbert '01 showcased their competitive spirits. The races that were not won outright were close until the end, thereby providing Princeton with a commendable seventh place finish.
As the spring progressed, interests were turned to the more conventional fleet racing format. The Owen Trophy at the Coast Guard Academy was Princeton's first intersectional of the season. Sailing in shifty moderate winds, Ken Turnbull '98/Whitney Birdwell '01 sailing A division and Doug Turnbull '01/Andy Goodman '99 in B division placed 13th overall in a regatta where the field swapped finish places with such regularity, the final ranking was continuously in dispute.
More recently was the Area B Dinghy Elimination at SUNY. To qualify for the America's Trophy in May-the spring ranking regatta and qualifier for Nationals-Princeton needed at least a fourth place finish; and they got exactly that. According to Doug Turnbull, "it was just a good regatta to practice in light air and strong current with 420's [the boat used at the America's]." Also, the same weekend was Georgetown's premiere spring event: the Arrigan Memorial Regatta. Princeton dominated early on in the 20 knot breeze which the team is well practiced in; only to have the wind lighten up on the second day allowing others to steal the lead. In the end, Princeton finished fifth, less than ten points away from the fourth place team but over fifty points ahead of the sixth place finisher.
The coed team still has two intersectionals to look forward to before sailing in the America's Trophy on May 2-3 at Hobart. And just as history has a tendency to repeat itself, this club team might just don the underdog position once more, and make it to Nationals.
Women's Team Updateby Laura Drumm '01
Chilly temperatures and blustery winds characterized the commencement of the spring season for the women's team, as it got off to a start at the Naval Academy, March 14 and 15. Competing against perennial powerhouses, St. Mary's, ODU, and Navy, as well as several West Coast opponents, including UC Irvine and Hawaii (who, no doubt, were a little overwhelmed by the cold), Princeton women put in a solid effort and improved immensely throughout the progression of the regatta. In her last season with the team, Varsity A skipper Emily Kalkstein '98 steered well in winds that gusted up to 30 knots; Saturday, she was one of few boats, during several races, to stay upright. Though she began the day towards the back of the pack, she made her way up, garnering a second and two thirds, to place seventh overall in her division. This was an impressive start considering it was Kalkstein's first regatta with crew Amelia Brown '99, a veteran on the coed team who made the switch to women's this spring. Coming back to the team was Sarah Nestor '98, who, after spending last semester in South Africa, returned to the water as the Varsity B skipper with rookie Laura Drumm '01 as crew. The pair was not as successful in their division as Kalkstein and Brown, but gained a lot of experience and strategy from such a competitive fleet. By the end of Sunday, they had picked up boat speed and tuned their tactics, finishing tenth in B division, and giving Princeton a tenth place finish overall.
Princeton hosted the Women's Spring Open at Raritan Yacht Club the following Saturday and Sunday where the conditions could not have been better. Though winds were heavy the first day, temperatures rose to the mid-80's, a sharp contrast to the previous weekend. Sailing A division against guests Navy, Columbia and Penn State was the duo of Nestor and crew Julie Semmelhack '01, who, in eight races placed either first or second to cruise to a first place finish overall. Laura Drumm '01, in her debut at skipper, also took top honors in B division with help of crews Smith and Kalkstein. Overall, Princeton was first by a considerable margin.
Looking forward to upcoming regattas, the women's team is striving to sail fast and remain a contender amongst some imposing competition at both the Women's Dellenbaugh Intersectional at Brown and MAISA Women's at ODU. The experience of seniors Kalkstein and Nestor should shine through if they utilize what they have learned from the season thus far. Hopefully, their performance in the upcoming regattas will bring Princeton back as a solid contender in MAISA in order to give next year's women a starting point to work from. Following this spring, the absence of Kalkstein, Nestor, and crew Smith will leave a tremendous dent in the team, for it is not only their sailing presence that is valuable but their knowledge of college sailing, in general. Skipper Erica Just '99 will be depended on next year to fill that gap as well as Drumm, crew Semmelhack and potential skipper Emma Torbet '01. Already, these women sailors have gained so much skill and knowledge from the seniors who have done an excellent job this spring in cultivating speed and tactics in order to assure a successful future.
Floridaby Erica Just '99
Even without coach Andy Gooding's guidance in Florida, great weather and near-perfect sailing conditions alone would have made the team's third annual trip to Palm Island, Florida, worthwhile. With a new set of main sails, two new trailers and the largest group of sailors yet, Andy, along with much-missed alums Frank Flannery '97 and Brandon Schwartz '97, spent a week getting the team back into racing shape after final exams. Almost everyone improved dramatically from a week of good coaching, steady competition, and endless tacking drills-as well as enjoying temperatures that rose throughout the week, trips to the hot-tub, and walks on the beach. Highlights of the trip included watching Women's B skipper Sarah Nestor '98 regain her confidence after a semester abroad and helping freshmen skippers and crews make major improvements in boat handling as well learning the basics of team racing tactics in preparation for the Spring season regattas. Unpredicatable conditions allowed skippers and crews to work on everything from rudderless races to full-out hiking; in fact, these overly strenuous work-outs prompted Practice Captain Doug Turnbull '01 to institute an off-season workout regime to prepare for heavy air practice back at Raritan. Highlights of the trip included watching Women's B skipper Sarah Nestor '98 regain her confidence after a semester abroad and helping freshman skippers and crews make major improvements in boat handling as well learning basic team racing tactics in preparation for Spring season regattas. The whole team enjoyed sailing in huge rollers as much as on flat, Gulf Coast waters and was relieved to see all eight boats return to New Jersey unharmed.
Prof. Curtiss Retires
Professor H.C. "Pat" Curtiss, the longstanding faculty advisor to the Sailing Team, is retiring from the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at the end of the spring 1998 semester. Professor Curtiss has been the team's faculty advisor since 1963. Prof. Curtiss sailed for RPI in the early 1950s and has been an active sailor since then. Professor Curtiss has provided a foundation of information and underlying guidance to years of student sailors; an anchor of continuity across time as team leaders and members come and go every four years. Along with the assistance of his secretary Bette Snedecker, who retired several years ago, Professor Curtiss has helped the team process MAISA and University papers to keep the team on course and off the administrative rocks. He expects to stay active and involved in work with NASA and other activities dealing with helicoptors. Princeton Sailing wishes him the best and extends its thanks for many years of support and enthusiasm.
"To me,the most enjoyable aspects of teaching at Princeton are the many varied contacts with students in and out of the classroom. Of particular pleasure was my long involvement with the Princeton Sailing Team from 1963 until about 1987. By a fortunate coincidence an engineering student working in my laboratory was Bill Cox, Jr.'s ('63) roommate and through this, along with my enthusiasm for sailing, this very enjoyable relationship commenced in the year that the Princeton Team won the ICYRA Dinghy Championship. The years include many exciting events such as watching Peter Wilson('66) win the MacMillan Cup with a spectacular finish in the last race. It was during this time that MAISA began to include women sailors in all events and the Princeton Women's Team went on to compile an outstanding record by winning four national championships (1974-78). I also had good fun teaching a number of student-initiated seminars on the technical aspects of sailing with many team members participating. I remember fondly a number of outstanding sailors who are no longer with us including Bob Purrington and Carl van Duyne. There are far more fond memories and experiences than I could ever begin to repeat here. Although in recent years I have had less contact with the team, I continue to follow their activities with interest. I was pleased to see the team move to the Raritan Yacht Club, with greatly improved facilities, and away from the vagaries of the breeze on Lake Carnegie. I am still sailing actively on Barnegat Bay in a C&C 24. I would be pleased to see any of you when you are in Princeton, and wish the team the best of luck in the future."
- Professor H. C. Curtiss
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Sailing Team Alumni Bar-B-QReunions Weekend Friday, May 30th
11:00am - 5:00pm
Racing Starts at 2 p.m. at the Sailing Shed on Lake Carnegie. Take Nassau Street North about 5 miles from campus. Food and drink provided.
Contact Emily Kalkstein at (609) 258-9935