A Great season opener for Princeton Sailing at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy hosted 3 events for Princeton women, co-ed, and single-handed sailors. Three teams headed to sail on opening weekend is a huge testament to how eager our team was to get back on the water and pick up where we left off last spring. Kings Point is a venue that requires a lot of local knowledge with light and shifty breeze combined with a swirling current that is unevenly distributed across most race-course areas. The Tigers handled it well as they battled with numerous varsity sailors, most of whom sailed in the Collegiate National Championships at the end of last season.
KP Open Invite
Sailors Asher Green ‘24 and Virginia Cobbs ‘25 sailed the A boat for Princeton in this combined division event sailed in Z420s. This venue in particular has been an “Achilles Heel” for these two sailors as the breeze pulses in from the left but the swirling current demands you start in the bottom right of the race course. Although the struggle was consistent Green and Cobbs battled all the way through the 6-race series to finish ahead of 5 varsity boats in the overall standings.
The B division boat was sailed by Eddie O’Keefe ‘25 at Skipper and Isabel Kim ‘24 in the crew position. O’Keefe and Kim exercised their incredible knack for light-wind sailing relying on top- tier boat speed to get them around the course in front of the Princeton Tigers A boat in 4 of 6 races. Starts and downwind strategy was identified by both sailors as a weakness that they would need to study up and execute in practice going forward into the rest of the season. At the end of the weekend, all sailors agreed they had plenty of takeaways to revisit in practice in the coming weeks.
KP Womens Invite
The Princeton Tigers Women’s Team also took to the water on weekend one with sailors Carly Mraz ‘25 and Kate Feiner ‘26 in the A boat, and Evelyn Walsh ‘26 and Katie Greppin ‘26 in the B boat. Penalizing moments of weakness but, incredibly uplifting moments of greatness would be an accurate summary for Princeton’s Women’s Sailing Team. This event was also a combined division event that was sailed in FJ’s against some of the top Women’s boats in our Conference during weekend 1. This would be the first time our Women’s sailors had seen more than 8 boats on a starting line since last spring’s Conference Championships hosted at St. Marys. Despite all of the new challenges, both A and B boats would sail some incredible first beats that would leave top teams from Penn, Cornell, Hobart William Smith, and Fordham well behind them. Unfortunately, some downwind mechanics and strategy confusion would leave the Tigers on the backfoot after rounding the final downwind mark on a port box, with a short upwind leg to sail through the finish. After a series of 6 races, every sailor had a specific skill they were hungry to work on going forward into the next week of practice, music to the Coach’s ears. This group of sailors will be one to follow as there is plenty of sailing left in their college careers.
Laser North Qualifier
The Laser North Qualifier event was sailed by Ossian Kamal ‘26 in the ILCA 7 class, and would serve as a qualifier for the MAISA Single Handed Conference Championships otherwise known as the Carl Van Duyne Trophy. Carl Van Duyne was the captain of the Princeton Sailing team in 1966 when he won the Collegiate Single-Handed National Championships, and went on to sail at the Summer Olympic Games in 1968. This event hosted a competitive fleet of 11 sailors, all but one from varsity sailing programs. Kamal would thrive in the varying conditions throughout the course of 8 races to claim 3rd place, putting Princeton Sailing on the podium weekend 1 and qualifying himself for the Carl Van Duyne Trophy in 3 weeks’ time.
A huge thank you to Coach Feeney and all of the staff at KP for a wonderful weekend of sailing
in conditions that can only be considered as unfavorable for race management.