Jason Wu/Sun Assistant Photography Editor

Cornell sailors compete in the Jack Boehringer Memorial Regatta, Cayuga Lake on September 18, 2022.

September 28, 2022

Sailing Soars, Securing Series of Weekend Successes

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Sailing continued its streak of successful matchups this week, adding new titles to its growing list of accolades. The Red divided its ranks this weekend, placing fourth overall in the 2022 MAISA Match Race Championship and claiming the top two positions in the Top 9/ Susan Rogers ’75 Memorial Regatta. 

Cornell dominated the Susan Rogers ’75 Regatta, held at home in the Cayuga inlet. The Red’s first team, entitled “Big Red 1,” was skippered by senior Meredith Moran and junior J.J. Smith with freshman Sophia Mulvania and sophomore Amelia Neumann as the crew. Scoring 44 points in the A division and 54 in the B division, the team blew past the competition, racking up 98 total points. 

The Red’s second team was quick to follow. Scoring 105 points in total, “Big Red 2” was a mere seven points behind the regatta champions. The team was skippered by sophomore Bridget Green and freshman Sophia Devling. Freshman Sophia Pearce crewed the A division and sophomore Sophia Fogarty manned the B division. 

Both of Cornell’s teams overtook the competition with ease. George Washington University claimed the third and fourth place titles, scoring 175 and 208, respectively. Hobart and William Smith (209), Fordham (218), and UPenn (248) followed. 

Head coach Lior Lavie remarked that these at-home wins were rewarding considering the focus that the team has maintained these past couple of weeks. 

“It always gets the morale up,” Lavie said. “During practice, we emphasize the foundations and the collective effort of the team. When someone is having individual success, it is a reflection of the entire team and the hard work we put in.”

For the MAISA Championship, assistant coach Charlie Knape accompanied the remaining sailors to Kings Point, N.Y. Sophomore Hayden Earl served as the team’s skipper and junior Lucija Ruzevic, sophomore Adler Weber, and senior Gabbi DelBello as the crews. 

The Red won four out of its seven matches in the first round, claiming victory over Fordham, the Navy, NY Maritime, and Princeton. In the second round, Cornell failed to find similar success, falling to Kings Point, Georgetown, and Hobart & William Smith. The Red ended in fourth place with a 4-6 overall record. Georgetown, 9/1, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, 8/2, and Hobart & William Smith, 6/4, placed first, second, and third, respectively. 

Lavie stated that despite the split of its members this weekend, the team functioned as a well-oiled machine. During home competitions, Lavie is largely responsible for hosting and ensuring that events run smoothly, which leaves little time for coaching. The team, he explained, was responsible for themselves.

“We have what we call a shore crew and they have just been phenomenal,” Lavie said. “They are in charge of their own food and water and make sure that all of the equipment is working well… the shore crew is definitely a demonstration of the strength and chemistry that we are building together.”

The newly-formed coaching team has also found a balance this season, utilizing their different strengths to become a stronger whole. 

“Sailing is like an art,” Lavie said. “There are multiple ways to go around the racecourse successfully. With our combined coaching styles and perspectives, we can provide a broad spectrum of coaching for the athletes and what might work best for them.”

Looking ahead to the next competitions, Lavie expects harder match-ups later in the season. 

“The level of intensity and pressure will go up in October,” Lavie said. “We’ve been preparing our athletes and we are looking forward to seeing how we will line up with more competitive teams.” 

Cornell will also anticipate this year’s Singlehanded National Championships in November. At the Faye Bennet MAISA Women’s singles last week, Ruzevic and Ehnot earned the top two titles, securing their spots at nationals. 

Lavie explained that their accomplishments are especially impressive considering their sailing backgrounds. Both Ruzevic and Ehnot primarily sailed singlehanded in high school. With collegiate sailing, the majority of events are doublehanded. Upon their arrival to Cornell, Ruzevic and Ehnot had to transition to doublehanded sailing only to switch back to singlehanded for Nationals. 

“This just shows what versatile sailors they are,” Lavie said. “Both are extremely fit and some of the most hard-working athletes on our team.”

Next weekend, the Red will split up again to compete at the Women’s ACC Semifinals in Cambridge, M.A., and the SUNY Open in Throggs Neck, N.Y.