Junior skipper Lillian Myers clinched her second consecutive Faye Bennet MAISA Women’s Singlehanded Championship for the Red Sailing team this past weekend in Annapolis, Maryland — with sophomore skippers Lucija Ruzevic and Lauren Ehnot taking second and fifth place, respectively. Myers’ win secured her a spot in the LaserPerformance Women’s Singlehanded National Championship this November.
“Coming home with the title was just as rewarding as winning freshman year,” Myers said. “Lucija is my best friend of six years. We were on the same team growing up, so for us to get first and second is so cool, and three of us [Red] in the top five, what more could you ask for?”
For the doublehanded skippers, the Red competed at home in the Cayuga Invite and Big Red Invite. In the Cayuga Invite, the Red placed third out of six, only five points behind second-place University of Pennsylvania. The Big Red Invite, on the other hand, was a less competitive event that allowed other sailors on the teams to try out competitions.
“We want to give people the opportunity to gain experience and see what they can do in competitions,” said Head Coach Brian Clancy. “There are bigger events on the horizon, so we’re not placing too much emphasis on the results from this weekend.”
Of the 23 women on the sailing roster, 14 are freshmen or sophomores competing with the Red for the first or second time, and seven sailors are juniors, whose freshman year spring seasons were cut short by COVID-19. At this past weekend’s Cayuga Invite, senior skipper Brooke Shachoy sailed doublehanded with freshman crew Amelia Neumann.
“We definitely have a young team, so it’s nice because we have a lot of room to grow together,” Shachoy said. “It’s awesome as a senior that I can be sailing with a freshman and kind of develop the team in that way. We’re working together to try to be the best that we possibly can be, but it’s also nice for that kind of team development as well.”
The Faye Bennet Laser Radial was also sophomore Ruzevic’s first race with the Red. Although she said she struggled with low winds at her college competition debut on Saturday, Ruzevic made numerous top-four efforts on each of the eight races on Sunday, earning her a second-place finish.
Wind trouble characterized the invites both on Cayuga Lake and at the Faye Bennet. Sailing at the Cayuga Invite was delayed both mornings with breezes fading in and out, and light winds kept the Faye Bennet fleet on shore all of Saturday morning.
“It was just a lot of keeping your head out of the boat, being in turn with all the changes on the racecourse and being able to adapt,” Ruzevic said.
The sailing conditions were frustrating for the competitors, Shachoy said, as the wind picked up after Saturday morning, making racing more challenging. She added that some of the scores may have been inconsistent because of the conditions.
Still, Shachoy said she’s looking forward to future competitions with the Red.
“We’ve got a lot of good momentum going. The team practices have been awesome,” she said. “And we definitely are a young team this year, but we’ve got a lot of talent and a lot of depth.”
On Sept. 25 and 26, the Red will host the MAISA Top 9 at Merrill Family Sailing Center. Races will include women’s and co-ed doublehanded regattas.