The Cornell sailing team finished in the middle of the pack at the Atlantic Coast Tournament, a coed showcase regatta held in the Annapolis Harbor, near the home of the United States Naval Academy. The tournament ran Saturday and Sunday and featured two divisions.
In what was a rather average performance for Cornell, which finished 10th in a field of 18, there were still a handful of bright spots, including three top-five finishes for the B division team as well as a victory in the fourth race of the weekend.
Uncooperative wind reduced the opening day of the tournament to just two races, something freshman Lilly Bjerke said the team always has to be prepared to deal with,
“We had to be physically and mentally prepared to go back on the water at any time,” she said.
The tournament was postponed for hours on the first day due to the lack of wind, a fact that undeniably affects the athletes’ ability to perform.
“I think our team did an amazing job at staying mentally energized and ready to race,” Bjerke said.
Bjerke and her fellow B division teammate J.J. Smith enjoyed success throughout the tournament that climaxed with a win in the fourth race.
It was among Bjerke’s first tastes of success as a member of the Red.
“It was very exhilarating for me as a freshman to win that fourth match on Sunday,” Bjerke said.
The shot of euphoria is short lived, however, as Bjerke says the team is already looking forward and focused on finishing the fall half of the season as strong as possible.
There’s always more that we want to work on,” she said. “This upcoming weekend, we have both the coed and women’s championships and we also have single-handed nationals to look forward to.”
Going forward, the sailing team still has plenty on its plate. The upcoming final weekend hosts some of the most important competitions of the season.
The women’s championship Bjerke mentions is that of the MAISA Women’s Championship at Hobart and William Smith College. The Red has an opportunity to win the event for the third year in a row after coming home victorious in 2018 and 2019.
Sailing will also compete in the War Memorial, hosted by Old Dominion over the weekend.
While the fall regular season will conclude after the two events, three Cornell sailors will go on to represent the school in nationals, the most in program history.
Junior Lillian Myers and sophomores Lucina Rezevic and Lauren Ehnot will compete in the 2021 Singlehanded National Championships on Saturday, Nov. 6, in Annapolis, Maryland.
Myers received an automatic nationals berth as a result of her Faye Bennett MAISA title victory and will be making her second nationals appearance.
Ruzevic and Ehnot were at-large selections and will be making their first appearances.