If you’re in the market for a sailboat, you might want to talk to the Yale sailing team.
The Yale Corinthian Yacht Club will soon sell 18 of its 24 420-class racing boats, Yale head coach Zack Leonard announced Dec. 8 to the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association e-mail list.
The sale will help fund the purchase of 18 replacement 420s and four new Laser-class single-person boats. Although the 420s are replaced approximately every five years, owning Lasers will be new for the Yale team, which attained varsity status less than two years ago.
In the past, individuals on the team who owned Lasers would lend them out to others to practice or even compete in, Leonard said.
“Loaning [your boat] out to everyone is a lot to ask,” Leonard said.
But it was NEISA’s recent decision to move the location of the New England Singlehanded Championships away from the United States Coast Guard Academy that largely prompted the team’s purchase of its own Lasers, Leonard said. The Coast Guard Academy used to provide a fleet of Lasers for the championship, but with the change in venue came a change in format — now, to participate in the championship, each sailor must bring his or her own boat.
The New England and North American singlehanded championships hold a lot of prestige for not only the individual, but also the team. Continued success at both competitions would do much to raise the team’s already prominent profile on the national level and help Leonard snag more recruits like Molly Carapiet ’06 and Julie Papanek ’05. Papanek was considered the nation’s top female sailing recruit in her recruiting class.
Once the team owns its own Lasers, sailors will be able to get far more singlehanded practice against each other than in the past, when the team relied on members who lived in the area and owned Lasers to provide boats for competitions and, sometimes, practice.
Carapiet, who finished second in the North American Women’s Singlehanded Championships in Houston last season, said she often had trouble finding a boat for practice.
“To practice, I had to borrow a boat from somebody on my team who owned a boat out here,” Carapiet said.
In collegiate sailing, the most important regattas are intersectionals — regattas that include teams from different regions of the country, rather than just NEISA teams. It is these races that count towards the rankings that determine which teams qualify for the North American championships. Singlehanded championships are held in the fall, while doublehanded championships are held in the spring.
But three or four of the intersectionals that count toward team rankings for the doublehanded championships include singlehanded elements as well; instead of the two divisions of two-person boats, there are three that count towards the final results — one of which is generally composed of fast, one-person Lasers.
Carapiet said she thought the purchase of Lasers would serve two purposes.
“Hopefully, [buying Lasers] will help more individuals on our team qualify for singlehanded nationals next year,” Carapiet said. “And hopefully we will do well at the three or four divisional events that include Lasers.”
Owning multiple Lasers will allow the team to have practices that could feature Carapiet, Papanek — who finished fifth at the North American championships this year — and up-and-coming singlehanded stars such as Matt Barry ’07 all at the same time.
“Because we’ll have more Lasers, four of us can practice with each other,” Carapiet said. “That could help the individuals all get better.”
The sailing team will see action again soon — the first regatta of the spring is scheduled for March 6, after the Miami Olympic Classes Regatta, where several present and former team members will sail.