Sailing knocks off No. 1 teams

Two nationally ranked No. 1 sailing programs fell to the Bulldogs this weekend.

The women’s team beat No. 1 St. Mary’s College in the Stu Nelson Trophy. Meanwhile, the coed team’s freshmen beat No. 1 Harvard University in the Freshman Series Seven A division race.

The nationally ranked No. 8 women’s sailing team placed third in the Stu Nelson Trophy hosted by the University of Connecticut. In addition to trouncing St. Mary’s, Yale beat No. 3 Brown and No. 5 Dartmouth in a field of 18 programs.

By finishing second among members of the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association in the regatta, the women’s team qualified for the Atlantic Coast Championship on Nov. 16 and 17.

The nationally ranked No. 9 coed sailing team also had a successful weekend, placing ninth out of 18 in the Sherman Hoyt Trophy. Brown hosted the event.

Meanwhile, coed captain Stu McNay ’04 placed 10th in the New England Men’s Singlehanded Championship at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.

Other Yale sailors participated in the Oberg Trophy hosted by Northeastern University at Boston College Saturday and the Freshman Series Seven regatta at Tufts University Sunday. Northeastern is not located directly on the water, so the school’s sailors hosted the Oberg race at Boston College.

The third-place finish at the Stu Nelson Trophy marked yet another success for the women’s team, as Molly Carapiet ’06 won the New England Women’s Singlehanded Championship for Yale Oct. 6. The team’s No. 8 national ranking is expected to rise in the next coaches’ poll, which is released by the National College Sailing Association every few weeks.

Carapiet said she was pleased with the team’s weekend results, but thought the Bulldogs could have done even better.

“As a team, we had a good day on Sunday that allowed us to qualify for the Atlantic Coast Championships,” Carapiet said. “But I don’t think Sarah [Himmelfarb '06] or I sailed to our full potential on either Saturday or Sunday.”

Kate Littlefield ’04, Julie Papanek ’05 and Himmelfarb all joined Carapiet at the Stu Nelson Trophy, where Papanek and Littlefield placed sixth in the A division and Carapiet and Himmelfarb placed fifth in the B division. This consistency between the A and B division finishes brought Yale to third place overall.

Other schools were less consistent. Tufts, for example, placed third in the A division and ninth in the B division, finishing sixth overall. Yale benefited from its roster’s depth.

The coed team, sailing without McNay, who was participating in the New England Men’s Singlehanded Championships, placed ninth in the Sherman Hoyt Trophy.

Brandon Wall ’03 and Meredith Killion ’05, sailing in the A division, had some lackluster finishes in bad weather on Saturday but improved to vie for second. However, several disappointing finishes near the end of the regatta on Sunday relegated the duo to fourth place.

Arthur Kinsolving ’03 and Jennifer Hoyle ’05, sailing in the B division, were not as fortunate, finishing 12th despite a first place finish in a Sunday race.

McNay partially attributed his 10th place finish in the New England Men’s Singlehanded Championship to factors beyond his control.

“I weigh 145 pounds, and I was sailing in a boat designed to be controlled by a 180 pound man,” McNay said. “I didn’t stand a chance in the high winds on Saturday, but once they calmed down and became shiftier on Sunday, the sailing became more tactical, and I could bring my knowledge and experience to bear.”

In collegiate sailing, competitors use boats owned by the host school. The Coast Guard Academy, hosting the New England Men’s Singlehanded Championship, used lasers for the event. A laser is a fast, single-sail boat designed for one skipper.

Yale’s contingent at the Oberg Trophy, which included Derek Keil ’03, Edward Stewart ’03 and Natalie Kitchen ’05, finished third overall.

Once again, consistency, depth and experience helped the Bulldogs. The A and B divisions finished only seven points apart, and Keil and Stewart were able to bring their experience to bear in heavy rain and poor conditions.

On Sunday, Eivind Karlsen ’06, Courtney Cox ’06, Newland Baldwin ’06 and Andrew Schram ’06 sailed in the Freshman Series Seven. Although Yale’s rookies came in eighth of 11 schools overall, the A division sailors, who finished sixth, beat Harvard’s nationally ranked No. 1 coed team. The Cantabs finished just seventh in the A division.

Next weekend, Yale sailors will travel to the Women’s Victorian Coffee Urn Regatta at Harvard, the Schell Trophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Rhode Island State Championships and the Team Racing Series Seven.

Rosters for the New England Freshman Championship Nickerson Trophy at the University of Vermont and the Invite at Tufts were not finalized at press time Tuesday.

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