Cornell sailing started its season strong with first-place titles in three regattas: the Faye Bennett Women’s Singlehanded Regatta, the Susan Rogers ’75 Memorial Regatta and the Jack Boehringer ’52 Memorial Regatta, the latter two of which were hosted at Cornell on Cayuga Lake.
Following her win at last year’s regatta, senior Lucija Ruzevic defended her title with 49 points at Faye Bennett Women’s Singlehanded Regatta in Annapolis, Maryland, easily winning her first-place. Senior Lauren Ehnot and freshman Pilar Cundey were just slightly behind with sixth and seventh-place.
Head coach Lior Lavie was confident in attending the Faye Bennett Women’s Singlehanded Regatta.
“We won the same event last year with our junior athlete [Lucija Ruzevic] and this year she is a senior,” Lavie said. “Our expectations were to win the event and defend the title.”
At the Rogers Memorial Regatta, Junior Bridget Green and freshman Kate Moran secured a first-place win with 43 points. In fourth-place, senior J.J. Smith and sophomore Sophia Mulvania accumulated 68 points, only one point behind Penn. The foursome of senior Clara Hewson and sophomores Maya Conway, Maeve Katics and Ava Grace Sannino combined for ninth- place, while the final team made up of junior Sophia Fogarty and freshman Kit Harned finished in 14th place.
To wrap up the weekend, the Red finished in first-place, eighth-place and 16th-place at the Jack Boehringer ’52 Memorial Regatta. Unlike the other two, the Boehringer Regatta was co-ed.
“For the Jack Boehringer Regatta, we did not win it last year, but the expectations are, of course, to win,” Lavie said. “We performed very well in the open events, which is usually more difficult because we compete against women and men athletes who are recruited, while we only have women-recruited athletes. Open events are normally harder for us, but the fact that we won is a big achievement.”
Freshman Winborne Majette and sophomore Sophia Pearce concluded the regatta weekend with 65 points, six points ahead of second-place.
Going into the race Majette had mixed emotions, but quickly changed how she felt after the race.
“I was super nervous because being an all women’s boat in a co-ed fleet that was majority male, we felt overpowered,” Majette said. “Going into it I was really nervous, but afterwards I felt really accomplished. It was a lot of hard work because me and my partner [Sophia Pearce] had to work a lot harder than the people around us, and that is why it felt so rewarding when we won.”
While excited about the wins, Lavie noted that he and assistant coach Gabi Delbello ’23 are still figuring out the best combinations of athletes for future races.
“Normally, the first three weeks are regional regattas, which allows us, the coaches, to build depth and try different configurations in the double-handed boats,” Lavie said. “Moving forward, the fourth weekend of the Fall and onwards are more championship style… Those races have higher stakes because competition is harder, as it’s an inner conference with schools nationwide. We will continue to observe the performance of specific athletes to ensure that we have these tremendous squads going into the important weekends ahead of us.”
Rachel Baez is a Sun contributor and can be reached at [email protected].