Although most members of the sailing team had wrapped up their fall season, a few Elis hit the chilly waters at the singlehanded nationals and frosh championships in Rhode Island this past weekend.
Four members of the team competed at the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) Singlehanded Championships, hosted by Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I.
In the men’s division, Matthew Barry ’07 placed 12th out of 16 and won the Team One Sportsmanship Award for the event. After some weak races in the first half, captain Emily Hill ’07 sailed consistently well in her final five races and finished fourth in the women’s division. Hill was tied for third place going into the last race, but she was narrowly bumped down to fourth after her competitor finished first. Sarah Lihan ’10 and Jane Macky ’09 finished seventh and eighth, respectively.
The women qualified for the singlehanded nationals by finishing first, second and third at the New England Singlehanded Championships hosted in nearby Branford earlier in the season.
Hill said the cold weather and tricky winds at Roger Williams created challenging sailing conditions. The light and shifty wind conditions decreased the number of races on Narragansett Bay, which made it more difficult for the team to sail consistently.
For most of the season, the team had competed in regattas with boats consisting of two members, a skipper and crew. In the past two weeks, those competing at the singlehanded nationals have been practicing with Lasers, which are boats intended for one sailor. This made the transition from doublehanded dinghies to singlehanded boats smoother so that the sailors could be more comfortable for the championships this past weekend.
For the upcoming weekend, Hill and Macky will have to make the transition back to the skipper and crew mindset for the ACC Women’s Championships, in which they will compete in doublehanded boats.
“Most of my sailing before college had been singlehanded, but after spending so much time in doublehanded boats at Yale, it was kind of hard to make that swap to singlehanded competition,” Macky said. “For the women’s ACC this weekend, it’ll actually be easier for me to make the transition back to doublehanded.”
Yale’s newest sailors also competed at the Atlantic Coast Freshmen Championships hosted by Brown University. The Bulldogs placed third in both divisions and second in the overall regatta. The Division A boat was skippered by Thomas Barrows ’10 and crewed by Marla Menninger ’10. The Division B boat consisted of John Kempton ’10 and Mike Hession ’10.
Team members said that despite their strong finish, they felt they could have done better. There were sailors at the regatta against whom the team had never competed, which made the fleet tougher than the Elis expected.
“We did a good job, but we probably could have won,” Menninger said. “We’ve been sailing pretty well all year, and we knew that we were capable.”
Menninger and other members of the women’s sailing team will be wrapping up their season at the ACC Championships next weekend at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y.