SAILING | Coeds take second place

The coed team finished second at the New England Dinghy Championship. The women’s team took seventh place at the Shew and Wick Trophies.
The coed team finished second at the New England Dinghy Championship. The women’s team took seventh place at the Shew and Wick Trophies. Photo by Frances Sawyer.

The coed sailors secured their spot at the ICSA semifinals this weekend with a second-place finish at the New England Dinghy Championship.

The Elis also finished 10th at the Boston University Oberg Trophy race.

Shifty conditions ruled the weekend at the Thames River venue. The wind ranged from a brisk breeze to a complete still.

“It was definitely challenging sailing,” captain Blair Belling ’11 said. “You really had to be paying attention and just being very patient because the winds were so shifty and unpredictable.”

In the A division, Thomas Barrows ’10 and Belling finished third with 103 points. The duo scored two wins and spent eight of 17 races in the top-five finishers.

In the B division, captain Joe Morris ’12, Mike Hession ’10 and Marla Menninger ’10 took fourth place overall. They finished in the top-five racers nine times and won three races, bringing their score to 114 points.

“We were taking too much risk and that sort of hurt us a lot and dropped [the whole team] back into second,” Barrows said.

The Bulldogs’ second place finish allows them and seven other NEISA teams to compete in the ICSA semifinals. The field will be divided between Seattle and Charleston, S.C. The Elis will compete in the Western Semifinals and will travel to Seattle at the end of next week.

This week the Bulldogs also traveled to Boston, where non-existent winds and rain thwarted sailors all weekend. The Elis ultimately placed 10th at the Oberg Trophy, an event hosted by Northeastern, named for an MIT professor, and sailed out of Boston University’s harbor. Boston University won the event.

But the Bulldogs had better luck at home. The Southern Series Five, the Short Beach Invitational, was hosted at the McNay Family Sailing Center. The two divisions sailed together, with 16 boats at the starting line each time. Because the Blue sent two full teams to the event, four of those boats were manned by Elis.

John Vrolyk ’10 and Isabel Elliman ’12 placed fifth overall, the highest of any Yale duo competing. Brown won the competition.

“It was great that so many members of the team got to sail,” Elliman said of the 12 Elis at the regatta. “I was so impressed by all the Yale sailers and I think all of our practice this spring definitely showed this weekend.”

But the coed team was not the only team that was busy this weekend. The women’s squad did not take a break. The team traveled to Coast Guard and placed seventh in the Shrew and Wick Trophies. College of Charleston won the event.

Unlike the coed team, racing conditions for the women’s team were perfect on Saturday. A total of 17 races were sailed in the A and B divisions, and the Thames’ strong current guided much of the strategy. Sunday, however, the breeze turned shifty and sailors only raced in nine races in two divisions.

In the A division, Sarah Lihan ’10 and Elizabeth Brim ’11 finished fifth. In the B division, Claire Dennis ’13 and Heather May ’13 finished eighth.

The main feat of the weekend, however, was qualifying for the ICSA semi-finals, keeping the Bulldogs on track for a repeat appearance at the ICSA Championships this summer.

“It is a big step in the road towards nationals,” Belling said of the ICSA qualification regatta. “I’m getting very excited to keep this season going.”

Next weekend the coed Elis will sail in the Freshman Single Division Championships at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, the Thompson Trophy at Connecticut College, and the BU Trophy at Boston University. The women will compete in the New England Championships at Brown.

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