CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After qualifying for the Atlantic Coast Championships in the fall, the MIT sailing team is gearing up for its spring season as one of the top 15 teams in the country. In Sailing World's final college ranking of 2010, the Engineers were named the 13th best sailing team, while the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association's college team racing rankings have MIT at 15th overall. The former is based on an open coach's poll, while the latter takes into account race results and a panel of rankers.
After the loss of strong senior leadership from 2010, Tech looked to new upperclassmen, like senior Elizabeth Hass and Junior Eamon Glackin for contributions both on and off the water. Both Hass and Glackin stepped up and were big parts of MIT's run to the Atlantic Coast Championships.
The core of Tech's sailing team continued to grow and develop skills that will make them a force in the spring. Sophomore Andrew Sommers and Junior Stephanie Tong made steady improvements to become a top B division boat in New England competition. Junior Phillip Crain and Sophomore David Alfonso focused a lot on the singlehanded discipline this fall and both sailed very well in non-college competition this winter. Junior Reguli Granger offers huge versatility as a crew with the women's squad and coed team racers and sophomore Mark Van De Loo developed into a heavy air crewing specialist.
The Women's Squad is looking forward to the return of 2 upperclassman skippers who missed significant time in the fall. Team captain and senior Jamie Curran looks to finish her notable sailing career at MIT with a strong spring. Talented junior standout Katie Gullick will provide great boatspeed and, sailing with experienced senior captain Jillian Reddy, will be strong in New England and national competition. Freshman skipper Hanna Vincent continues her great development from the fall and will benefit from the squad's experienced leadership. Crews junior Jacqueline Soegaard and senior Claire DeRosa bring experience and enthusiasm to the squad as the women's team looks to return to national recognition this spring.
The schedule for co-ed and women's sailing will feature both standard fleet racing and three versus three team racing, requiring teams to have depth and to communicate and coordinate maneuvers among their three boats. The fleet racing season will culminate with eight New England Teams qualifying for a 36-team National Semi-Final. From there, just the top 18 teams in the country will advance to the Final Round of the National Championships. In team racing, there is even smaller margin for error as only the top three New England teams will advance to Nationals.
The spring season will kick off on March 5th when MIT competes in the Sharpe Trophy, now at Roger Williams University. It will also include a spring training trip to the University of South Florida in mid-March.