With both Eli sailing teams ranked first in the country, it’s a great time to be a Yale sailor.
The No. 1 ranked coed Bulldogs sailed to their fifth victory in seven weeks Sunday at the Sherman Hoyt Trophy at Brown. The coeds also sent sailors to the Oberg Trophy at MIT, where they placed 10th, and two coed teams competed at the Southern Series Seven event at Yale, finishing fourth and seventh, respectively. The women’s team, also ranked No. 1 in the country, placed fifth at the Stu Nelson Trophy in New London, Conn. Sunday.
At the Hoyt Trophy, Saturday brought fierce southerly winds and precipitation. The Brown venue, located outside of Providence, R.I., was open to the south, allowing the strong gusts to pummel the racecourse. But the skies cleared Sunday, and the winds slowed and shifted to come from the north, making the course easier to navigate.
“We pretty much saw everything,” captain Thomas Barrows ’10 said about the weather.
In the A division, Barrows, Mike Hession ’10 and Blair Belling ’11 sailed to a second-place victory with 75 points in 14 races.
But the Bulldogs’ second-place finish did not come easily. On Saturday, College of Charleston led the pack with a solid performance in the A division. Sunday, however, Charleston’s lead boat had a series of unfortunate finishes that helped propel the Bulldogs’ A division only to the silver and the Elis to the gold.
“It was kind of unfortunate because one of the guys who was doing really well from Charleston ended up getting most of his points in two races,” Hession said, alluding to the fact that higher finishes are awarded with fewer points. “It was tragic to watch, but helped us move up to where we needed to be to snag the win.”
Skipper Joe Morris ’12, Hession, Marla Menninger ’10 and Rafael Fernandez ’13 won the B division. The team totaled 80 points, and Morris won races with both Menninger and Fernandez.
With 155 combined points, the Elis took a 12-point lead over their nearest competitor, Boston College (167 points), and the rest of the field.
“We were happy to be able to sail in the shifty winds,” Belling explained, “because we’ll experience that as we go on to the Schell Trophy and ACCs.”
At the Oberg Trophy in Boston, racing was canceled Saturday because of nonexistent winds. The three division race took place Sunday when an 8-14–knot breeze allowed 12 races in each division.
Rob Struckett ’12 and Margot Benedict ’12 placed sixth in the A division sailing in FJs. The duo earned 86 points and won the first race of the regatta. Claire Dennis ’13 and Heather May ’13 placed 13th in the B division with 125 points. In the C division, Jared Shenson ’12 and Emily Billing ’13 placed sixth with 96 points. (Shenson is a Production & Design editor for the News.)
Altogether, Dartmouth won the event, and the Bulldogs came in 10th with 307 points.
Back in Connecticut, the Southern Series Seven event took place at Yale’s McNay Family Sailing Center in Branford. With soft winds blowing Saturday morning, racing commenced and continued until 18-knot breezes forced the close of competition.
Yale entered two teams, instead of the usual one, in this event, which allowed more inexperienced sailors to gain time on the water. The two teams — team “Bulldog” and team “Elis” — placed fourth and seventh, respectively. Connecticut College won the event.
The women’s sailing team placed fifth in the Stu Nelson Trophy at Connecticut College. There was a growing 10-15–knot south-southeast breeze Saturday and a dying 12-15–knot northwesterly wind Sunday.
In the A division, Sarah Lihan ’10 and Elizabeth Brim ’11 placed second in the A division, three points behind A division leader Dartmouth. The Eli duo won three races and finished in the top five in half of their races.
In the B division, Genoa Warner ’12, Rebecca Jackson ’10 and Stephanie Schuyler ’12 had two wins and six top-five finishes.
The Elis finished the competition with 186 points, tying them with St. Mary’s. Yale then won a tiebreaker to finish fifth. Dartmouth took first place overall.
Next weekend, the women’s team will travel to Boston for the Victoria Coffee Urn, hosted by Harvard on the Charles River. The top-eight finishers of the Urn will qualify for the Women’s Atlantic Coast Championships Nov. 14-15 at Brown. The coed Elis will travel to Boston for the Erwin Schell Trophy at MIT and to the Northeast Freshman Championships at Boston University.