Women’s, coed sailing head to nationals
For the third straight year, the coed and women’s sailing teams both qualified for the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association National Championships. The women’s team will travel to Annapolis, Maryland, this Sunday, with the coed team competing June 3 in the championships co-hosted by the U.S. Naval Academy and St. Mary’s College.

In last year’s events, the women’s team took first place and the coed team took third place. The previous year, the women finished 12th and the coed team placed 14th. The team’s experience and familiarity with the competition has given it confidence, Matt Wefer ’14 said. “We have a grasp of what to expect in terms of how competitive it will be and the level of distractions we’ll face,” he said. “We know what it will take do well.” Moving past distractions has been a point of emphasis for the team. Wefer said this ability to avoid dwelling on setbacks is the key to the team’s success. In sailing, Wefer said, many variables are outside of the athletes’ control “It’s important to mentally reset when things go wrong and to get back out there and focus on what has gotten you to this point,” he said Among the many difficulties the team faced this season was the limited opportunities to practice on water, as Mascoma Lake was frozen for the almost the entirety of the season. With reduced time on the water, Dartmouth’s sailing team focused on making its practices efficient and remained positive, Sarah Williams ’16 said. “It’s just one of the things we have to deal with, being in Hanover,” Williams said. “We joked about it and made light of the situation and didn’t worry too much about it.” Wefer added that the team faced a similar challenge last year, but did not let it deter them as it achieved one of the most successful seasons in recent history. Despite these challenges, the Big Green came into form when it mattered. In the recent NEISA championships, the women’s team placed third and the coed team placed second, earning both teams a place in the national championships. The team recently acquired 36 new boats. The new boats consist of 18 FJs, which the team currently sails with, and 18 Z420s, a newer model that is both faster and lighter than the old 420 models, Williams said. The Z420 has become the standard for racing at the collegiate level. The team will race with the new model in the national competition. With the new additions, Williams said, Dartmouth is one of only a  few schools to own a fleet of Z420s. “It speaks volumes to the effort our coaches, the athletic department, our sponsors and, most importantly, our team has put in,” Wefer said. “We’ve brought up Dartmouth sailing to where we can be competitive on the national level and have the ability and resources to win a national championship.” The Big Green enters the competition with high hopes. “We have a great thing going on,” Williams said. “There’s a lot of trust between us and we’re hopeful that we can pull out another national championship.”  
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