Sailing Team Makes Big Waves at Fall Regatta – The Bowdoin Orient

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Courtesy of Rob Migliaccio
NAVIGATE: Christine Reimer ’24 races in the Atlantic Coast Women’s Championship. Reimer qualified for the Intercollegiate Sailing Association Women’s Singlehanded National and will compete in Norfolk, Va. in November.

After a sluggish start to the season, the sailing team met with great success during its last regattas. After placing sixth out of 18 teams in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Women’s Tournament in Brown, the team qualified and played in the final of the Atlantic Coast Women’s Championship (ACC) in Kings Point on the weekend. -end, placing ninth among 18 competitors.

The team also qualified for the ACC Open Finals this weekend. This is a significant milestone, as the team only qualified for the Women’s Championship last year.

Additionally, Christine Reimer ’24 qualified for the Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ISCA) Women’s Solo National Championships after finishing third at the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association (NEISA) Solo Championships earlier this fall. In early November, Reimer will travel to Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia to compete. This will be Reimer’s second appearance at the national championships, where she placed seventh overall last year.

The team also participated in the Savin Hill Invite at Boston College, the Captain Hurst Bowl in Dartmouth and the New England Match Race Championship at the Coast Guard Academy this weekend, placing fifth, tenth and fourth respectively among the top teams in sailing the country. These results mark the third week in a row that the team has consistently posted positive results.

The team attributes much of its recent results to its focus on basic sailing skills in addition to being able to sail together more as the season progresses.

“We all trusted the learning process. We’ve all been focused on the processes and the things we control and taking elements of the sport piecemeal,” said captain Lizzy Kaplan ’23. “When you only focus on one thing at a time, it comes with a slow start. But over the past two weeks, all of those things have come together for us due to the initial work of just focusing on one thing, so that was really cool to see.

Head Coach Frank Pizzo ’06 believes the team’s increasing level of experience, thanks in large part to guidance from junior and senior sailors on the team, has allowed them to hold more constructive practices.

“I think this group is just a bit more experienced than they were last year. Last year’s group, because of Covid-19, was talented but less experienced,” Pizzo said. “This group has a lot more experience. They know what to work on, they know how to train and what to train.

This season, the team has also revived the social aspect of the sport. As the season draws to a close, captains are eager to focus on team cohesion in the offseason.

“In the fall you sail one Bowdoin boat against 17 boats from other schools, but in the spring it would be three Bowdoin boats against three boats from another team. So it requires more communication and team coordination, which requires a lot more trust,” Slayton said. “My hope and goal for the team is to continue to build that trust and develop those lines of communication.”

The team also attributes its success to a change in mindset and culture.

“I would also say that this group of people is really focused on hard work and holding each other accountable for that,” Kaplan said. “Whether it’s pushing each other to get a notebook and writing down the things you’ve been working on or challenging each other in different exercises, it’s just a group of people who are focused on the team and work hard to support each other.”

This results in a practice environment that Pizzo describes as competitive but not ruthless.

“We spent a lot of time in the fall working on skill sets, but we’re also working hard on creating the right team culture and the right kind of training environment,” Pizzo said. “We have a lot of talent, but if we don’t have the right culture, people aren’t willing to push themselves as hard as they can to improve.”

As the fall season draws to a close, Pizzo looks forward to helping the team improve in the offseason and prepare for spring.

“We’re going to be graduating some seniors this fall, which is going to be tough, but we have a really good group of freshmen,” Pizzo said. “We are really looking forward to racing as a team [in the spring]start our early years and see how far we can go.

This weekend, the Polar Bears will compete in the Yale Women’s Regatta and the ACC Open at the Coast Guard Academy.

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