Sailing Battles at Stu Nelson and Oberg Trophies

Juniors David Alfonso and Steven Drapcho
Juniors David Alfonso and Steven Drapcho

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Facing a variety of wind conditions this past weekend, the MIT women's sailing team finished eighth out of 18 squads at the Stu Nelson Trophy while the nationally-ranked No. 13 co-ed team was 11th out of 16 competitors at the Oberg Trophy.

At the Stu Nelson Trophy hosted by Connecticut College, the competition had a late start on Saturday due to light winds which eventually filled in from the southwest at 0-5 knots. The difficult conditions persisted due to a shifty breeze moving northwest as the day progressed. On Sunday, the B Division attempted to hold three races but was called off due to lack of wind. As a result, the A Division featured four rounds while the B Division managed only two races. Yale took top honors, followed by Connecticut College, Roger Williams University, Navy, and Tufts University.

Both of MIT's entries placed eighth in its respective divisions, with senior skipper Katii Gullick (Portland, Maine) and junior crew Soraya Shehata (Bethesda, Md.) leading the charge in the A group. The pair was second in the third round and finished ninth, 11th, and 13th in the remaining rotations. Sophomores Hanna Vincent (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Grace Young (Bethesda, Md.) placed fifth and 12th in their abbreviated competition.

Held at the friendly confines of the Wood Sailing Pavilion, the B Division boat of junior David Alfonso (San Juan, Puerto Rico) and sophomore Iris Xu (Madison, Wis.) captured fourth place at the Oberg Trophy. The duo had eight top-10 finishes in 11 rounds including six placements in the top five. Alfonso and Xu were victorious in the fifth and eighth races, third in the first and 11th rotations, and claimed fourth place in the fourth and sixth rounds.

Senior Eamon Glackin (Huntington, N.Y.) along with sophomore Patricia Saylor (Bremerton, Wash.) and junior Kelden Pehr (Seabrook, Texas) generated an 11th place finish in the A Division. The trio cracked the top 10 on seven occasions, was the runner up in two races and claimed fifth place once. In the C Division, freshman Chloe Lepert (Belmont, Calif.) and senior Jacqueline Soegaard (San Juan, Puerto Rico) shared racing duties with juniors Steven Drapcho (Newtown, Pa.) and Taylor Burfield (Naples, Fla.) resulting in 12th place. Lepert and Soegaard competed in seven races and had rankings of fifth, ninth, and 11th while Drapcho and Burfield's best performance was eighth in their final outing.

Tufts claimed first place, while Dartmouth, Vermont, Yale, and Boston University rounded out the top five.