Sailing breezes past competition

In the storm Trysail Big Boat regatta in Larchmont, N.Y., the coed sailing team placed third in a field of over 40 boats.
In the storm Trysail Big Boat regatta in Larchmont, N.Y., the coed sailing team placed third in a field of over 40 boats. Photo by Urska Kosir.

The women’s and coed sailing teams enjoyed a second straight successful weekend, winning two regattas and finishing in the top three in all four regattas in which they participated.

For the coeds, Cam Cullman ’13 qualified for the National Championships in Lasers, much like his women’s team counterparts — Claire Dennis ’13 and Emily Billing ’13 — did last weekend, while the women’s team emerged victorious at an important intersectional regatta in Annapolis, Md.

In nearby Niantic, Conn., the coeds hosted the New England Singlehanded Championships, a regional qualifier for the National Championships in Lasers. Lasers are one-person boats, and most college regattas do not offer divisions in Lasers. According to members of the sailing team, the skill set required for sailing Lasers isdifferent from that required forsailing boats more traditionally raced in college regattas, such as FJs and 420s.

This weekend, Cullman and Max Nickbarg ’14 attempted to qualify. Although Nickbarg’s 11th place finish was not enough for him to qualify, he was in contention for much of the regatta.

“Towards the end of the day, the breeze started to die off and it became really super shifty and unpredictable,” Nickbarg said.

Nickbarg’s teammate had more luck with the wind. Displaying his consistent mastery of Lasers, for the second straight year Cullman came in first in the qualifiers. He crushed the other 21 competitors, finishing the regatta’s 16 races with an astonishing 60 points, a massive 58 points in front of second place. Cullman took seven first-place finishes and finishedhigher than fourth place on average. After finishing third at last year’s Nationals, this year Cullman is optimistic about grabbing gold.

“I’m feeling really good,” Cullman said. “Looking at the results from last year’s nationals, everyone else in the top five graduated.”

Meanwhile, the coeds participated in the Storm Trysail Big Boat Regatta in Larchmont, N.Y. The six Bulldogs sent there managed to secure a third-place finish despite having practiced on a keelboat just once prior to the race. With over 40 teams present, the Storm Trysail is one of the biggest regattas all year.

Before a lack of wind on Sunday cancelled the day’s proceedings, the Bulldogs managed to entrench themselves in third place through the three long races on Saturday. Crew William Feldman ’14 emphasized the experience more than the result.

“We got to try a different kind of sailing that’s not really typical college sailing,” Feldman said. “We got to see a lot of teams from the west coast that we don’t typically see.”

A third group of coeds went to a traditional regatta sailed in FJs, the Moody Trophy, hosted by the University of Rhode Island. Despite the different boats and different venue, the result was much the same, as the Bulldogs placed third.

Skipper Graham Landy ’15 and crew Katherine Gaumond ’15 guided their boat to fifth place in the competitive A division, while skipper Marlena Fauer ’14 and crew Eugenia Custo Greig ’14 finished first in the B division with six top-five finishes from nine races. Fauer explained that learning from her own and her teammates’ mistakes was pivotal to the team’s success.

“Graham and Kate sailed really well,” Fauer said. “We both had a couple slip-ups, but we both learned from our own and each others’ slip-ups to achieve a good result.”

The women’s team ensured that it won the only regatta it visited this weekend, the Navy Women’s Intersectional Regatta in Annapolis, Md., one of the biggest women’s intersectionals of the fall. Since the regatta was sailed in three divisions, each in a different boat—FJs, 420s and Laser radials—the Bulldogs displayed great versatility in garnering the victory. In the B division, skipper Morgan Kiss ’15 and crew Amanda Salvesen ’14 were outstanding, finishing first out of 17 with just 11 points from seven races.Kiss said she was happy with the team’s showing.

“I think we sailed pretty consistently,” Kiss said. “So we felt pretty good about it.”

Next weekend, the women’s team will be in action at home in the Yale Women’s Intersectional, while the coeds will sail in three regattas at Dartmouth, Navyand Massachusetts Maritime.

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