Boston College Takes Charge at Windy Nevins Trophy

Boston College wins the overall, but MAISA schools dominate the top 10.


Steve Streit

This past weekend the collegiate fall coed season moved to the U.S. Merchant Marine Acadmy in Kings Point, N.Y., for the Nevins Trophy. Unfortunately, a solid northeasterly breeze of 20 to 25 knots, with gusts up to 30, greeted the sailors when they arrived at Kings Point early Saturday morning for the annual three-division event (CJs, Vanguard 15s, and Lasers). The race committee was eager to get races off and sent out A division in V15s and C division in Lasers to test out the conditions. The shifty and puffy breeze proved to be a problem for many of the sailors; a number of V15s and Lasers flipped and the race committee felt that the breeze was too strong, canceling races for the day. Sunday saw similar conditions to that of Saturday. Desperate to get in some races, the race committee decided to shelve the CJs and instead, have A and B divisions switch off sailing V15s with FJ sails. The smaller area of the FJ sails combined with the greater stability of the V15s made the conditions manageable. A division was sent out to test the conditions and after successfully completing one race, C division was sent out. A total of five races were sailed in all three divisions, making for an official regatta even though a full rotation wasn't sailed. The breeze not only tested the physical ability of each individual sailor, but it also tested the depth of each team. Georgetown junior Andrew Campbell said that his team "went through a lot of options" to determine which pairs would be best suited to sail together. The unique combination of FJ sails and V15 hulls--something rarely, if ever seen in college sailing--was also a challenge for each team.   One of the teams that proved to be not only versatile, but also very skilled in breeze was Boston College. The Eagles won the regatta with a total of 60 points. Senior Jeff Bonanni and junior Tim Orazem, A Division, seniors Ben Gent and Guillaume Seynhaeve, B Division, and freshmen Reed Johnson, C Division, led their team to a solid victory by finishing forth, second and second in their respective divisions. Gent noted that in the past BC had not done as well in the larger three- or four-division regattas because they "never had a solid C division sailor". Now with Laser prodigy Reed Johnson sailing for the team, BC was able to compliment their impressive A and B division finishes with an equally impressive C division one. Both St. Mary's and Georgetown had a few sailors especially fairing well in their divisions. Winning the tie- break in B division and finishing first, Andrew Watters and Cotton Kelley, both sophomores, helped St. Mary's secure their second place finish. Campbell sailed an impressive regatta in C division, winning three of the five races, to win that division. The Middle Atlantic district (MAISA) had a solid showing overall at the regatta, securing second, third, fifth, sixth, and seventh (St. Mary's, Georgetown, Washington College, Hobart/William Smith College, and Kings Point, respectively). However, in addition to BC winning the regatta, the New England schools represented their district well. Erick Storck of Dartmouth sailed an great series, finishing in the top five in each race. Storck and crews Jimmy Attridge and Clementine James won A division, with the Dartmouth team finishing fourth overall. It's also worth noting that perennial New England powers Brown, Tufts, and Yale and many top Pacific Coast schools--Hawaii, USC and Stanford, to name a few--were not represented at this regatta, so it is still a little early to give any definitive answers as to which schools will be strongest this fall. However, the Nevins Trophy definitely showed the depth and versatility of some up and coming teams. The Danmark Trophy, Oct. 2 to 3 at the Coast Guard Academy, will be a good determinate of which New England schools are strong this season, while the Navy Fall Intersectional, Oct. 16 to 17 in Annapolis, Md., will have schools from every district represented and will go a long way in determining the national pecking order. Barbara Hall is a senior on the Georgetown University Sailing Team, and will be filing regular updates from the college scene throughout the fall season.