This Saturday and Sunday, sailing competed in the ACC Open semifinals and the Stu Nelson Invite. Sailing missed the mark on qualifying for the ACC Open Dinghy finals as they secured a 12th finish out of 18 teams to compete in this year’s semifinals in Kings Point, New York. The Red fared slightly better at the Stu Nelson in New London, Connecticut, where they placed seventh out of 13 teams.
Cornell racked up a total of 307 points at the ACC Open Semifinals. The eleventh-place position was tightly contested between Cornell and the University of Miami, with the Red succumbing to the Hurricanes by a slim four-point differential.
Despite the close battle, Cornell did not advance to the finals since only the top nine teams qualified. The Red narrowly missed the mark, with its score only 10 points away from the ninth place qualifying team, U.S. Merchant Marine (297). Between the first and second days of competition, Cornell was able to decrease the point deficit from 47 to 10.
While disappointed at the loss, head coach Lior Lavie asserted that the team learned lessons in perseverance and steadily improved over the course of the races despite the intense opposition.
“As a team, we’re fortunate to feel and face adversity,” Lavie said. “It shows a lot about our determination, our work ethics, and dealing with pressure. All six athletes that were with me over there- I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
The A division scored 161 points. The team was skippered by sophomores Bridget Green and Hayden Earl. Senior Gabbi Delbello, junior Rocco Cappetta and sophomore Amelia Neumann served as the crew.
The B division scored 146 points, outperforming the A team by 15 points. The team was skippered by senior Meredith Moran and crewed by Neumann for the first 14 races and DelBello in the last race.
Throughout the weekend, the Red made quick decisions to switch up the crew depending on the conditions of a given race.
“Sailing is similar to wrestling in that you have different categories of different weights that compete in different ways,” Lavie said. “If you have very light wind in the morning, it could be completely different than the afternoon if the wind picks up… So depending on the conditions and our sailors, I can decide the best combination to yield the best results.”
In the Stu Nelson Invite, Cornell saw more favorable results. The Red scored 261 points overall, barely slipping behind Tulane’s score of 259.
In the A division, Cornell scored 92 points. The team was skippered by junior J.J. Smith and crewed by freshman Sophia Mulvania.
Meanwhile, the C division racked up 104 points for the Red. Freshman Sophia Peck skippered the team, and juniors Clara Hewson and Lucija Ruzevic crewed.
However, it was the B division that shone, tallying 65 points for Cornell. Manned by freshmen skipper Sophia Devling and crew Sophia Pearce, the team placed fourth in the B division. Out of its twelve races, the team earned eleven top-ten finishes.
“This was a pretty good result compared to the high competition,” Lavie said. “It was a good opportunity for some of our freshmen to race and for our upperclassmen to lead and show them what an upper-level event is supposed to look like.”
This weekend marked the fourth time this season that the Red has split to sail in different competitions. However, Lavie ensured frequent division benefits the team since it allows sailors more opportunities.
“I think that the perception of splitting the team often comes as a negative thing. It’s not- it’s a positive,” Lavie said. “It allows more opportunities for more athletes to participate and compete and to get reps around the course.”
Cornell plans to diligently prepare for future match-ups since competitions will continue to intensify as the season advances.
“Finishing at the top of the fleet is a nice thing to see on paper but in order to get there, a lot of what we’re working on needs to come into place,” Lavie said. “It takes a lot of hours, a lot of conversations, a lot of work on and off the water for us to be able to perform at a high level and get us prepared for this weekend.”
The Red will set sail again next weekend at the Women’s ACC Finals in Kings Point, New York. and the David Lee Arnoff Trophy in Geneva, New York.