For most Yale teams, winning the Ivy League is the ultimate goal for a season. But for the coed sailing team, success within the Ancient Eight is hopefully only the beginning.
Yale’s co-ed sailing team took large strides toward a successful season this weekend with a handful of strong performances. The Elis won the Hap Moore Trophy Team Race and the Mosbacher-Knappy Trophy Ivy Champions at Dartmouth. By winning the Mosbacher-Knappy Trophy, the Bulldogs captured the League title.
“We pulled together as a team,” said Courtney Cox ’06, who raced in the Mosbacher-Knappy Trophy. “We avoided being risky and played conservative. We were consistently in the top three”.
At the Mosbacher-Knappy Trophy, which took place at Dartmouth College and was contested solely by Ivy League schools, Yale finished with 83 points, just a point ahead of Harvard and eight points ahead of Dartmouth, with skipper Eivind Karlsen ’06 and crew Hilary Shapiro ’09 taking first in the A division. Shapiro said the Bulldogs would have won with an even bigger margin, but the last two A division races did not count. Both the A and B divisions must complete the same number of races, and the wind died before the B division could complete its last two races.
“We learned a lot on the first day, and then by the second day, it came together really well.” Shapiro said. “We knew Harvard and Dartmouth would be good. They were the two big focuses for the weekend.”
Skipper Rufus Peabody ’08 and crew Courtney Cox ’06 finished third in the B division. Cox said that the Elis came in to the regatta expecting to do well but were not necessarily sure of a win. Last year, Dartmouth would have won the trophy, but a protest gave the victory to the Bulldogs.
“Last year, we won on a technicality, and this year we won on the water,” Cox said. “First on the water, no questions.”
Similarly, Yale dominated the Hap Moore Team Race at the Coast Guard Academy, the only team race of the fall. Each school sends out three boats that must coordinate in order to win the overall race. The Elis sent three teams of their top sailors: women’s team captain Molly Carapiet ’06 and crew Hannah Oakland ’07, skipper Zach Brown ’08 and crew Sarah Himmelfarb ’07, and skipper Phil Stemler ’07 and crew Abby Coplin ’08.
Brown said team races require greater communication between the boats.
“You all need to be on the same page or you will be in big trouble,” Brown said. “Towards the end of the weekend, we got our strategy figured out.”
The Elis were consistently ahead of St. Mary’s and Tufts throughout the weekend. Yale finished 19-3, while St. Mary’s finished 17-5 and Tufts came in third at 16-6.
In the NE Men’s Singlehanded Championships in Burlington, Vt., coed captain Matt Barry ’07 missed qualifying for nationals by just one place for the second straight year. The top four men qualify, and it was two from Harvard and one each from Tufts and Boston College who made nationals. Barry has been practicing on the lasers — single-handed boats, which Yale does not have — with his high school coach and felt well prepared.
“The competition is really tough in New England,” Barry said. “[We have] some of the best sailors in college and the nation.”
The freshmen did not have as much success this weekend as they had in previous races. In the Freshmen Series 5 at Brown, Yale finished 5th overall with 125 points. Kate Hagemann ’09 and Elizabeth Clack-Dolmar ’09 finished fourth with 32 points, just behind Tufts, and John Graham ’09 and Lynn McGregor ’08 finished 13th out of 14 boats.
“We didn’t do as well as we hoped,” Hagemann said.
This week, the Elis will train for the Women’s Intersectional at Yale and the Wood Trophy at Dartmouth. Both races are next weekend, and the Bulldogs hope to build on this weekend’s success.