SAILING | Elis battle adverse weather

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Photo by Zeenat Mansoor.

More than in any other sport, sailing is subject to the elements. Accepting that is part of being a good sailor. Throughout the season, the Bulldogs have had to demonstrate such patience. This weekend was no exception, as uncooperative wind conditions made the racing schedule particularly unpredictable.

For the second straight weekend the No. 1 women’s team was unable to complete a regatta, while the No. 3 coed team, despite imperfect conditions, put its head down to grind out first-, second- and fourth-place finishes at the three regattas in which it participated.

Whereas last weekend too much wind prohibited the women’s team from any sailing, this weekend, at the Stu Nelson Regatta hosted by Connecticut College, too little wind prevented Yale from picking up the victory that it seemed to deserve. Through six races on Saturday — four in A division and two in B division—the Bulldogs catapulted themselves into first place. However, a lack of wind forced Sunday’s races to be cancelled, and the regatta’s limited results will not count. The results become official only when three races are completed in each division. Therefore, although the Bulldogs seemed destined for victory on Saturday, the regatta will be discounted.

Meanwhile, the coed team fought frustrating wind fluxes, unable to sail a full slate of races on Sunday at any of its three regattas.

The coeds garnered a second-place finish at the biggest regatta of the weekend, the Sherman Hoyt Trophy hosted by Brown on the Providence River. Due to erratic wind patterns, only six races in each division were completed. In A division, skipper and captain Joe Morris ’12 and crew Isabel Elliman ’12 finished second, just one point out of first. In B division, skipper Christopher Segerblom ’14 and crew Heather May ’13 finished fifth.

Going into the last race, the Bulldogs were in first place. In both divisions, though, the last race was their undoing. In A division, after finishing first out of 18 in races three through five, Morris and Elliman slipped to 14th in the final race of the regatta. The story in B division was nearly identical, as Segerblom and May finished well in four of the first five races, but came in 15th in the final race.

Elliman preferred to focus on the squad’s encouraging start rather than its disappointing finish. “It definitely was frustrating that the last race had such an impact,” Elliman said. “But we had a good beginning of the regatta. It’s important to remember what we learned instead of focusing on the last race.”

The Elis were perhaps unfairly hampered by one bad race, as so few races constituting the regatta left the duos no time at all to redeem themselves. Despite a rough finish, the coeds came in just three points out of first, relegating No. 1 Charleston to third.

At the 138th Rudolph Oberg Trophy hosted by MIT on the Charles River, the coeds came in fourth. This was the fullest regatta of the weekend, with 11 races completed in each of the regatta’s three divisions. Only oneof the 11 races took place on Sunday. In the tightlycontested A division, skipper Graham Landy ’15 and crew Amanda Salvesen ’14 finished fifth. While acknowledging the difficulty posed by the shifting winds of the Charles, Landy attributed the duo’s good weekend to discipline.

“We’ve been focusing on simplifying our races,” Landy said. “That includes minimizing risk, as well as performing maneuvers we’re more comfortable with that we’ve practiced.”

In the same regatta, skipper Max Nickbarg ’14 and crew Genoa Warner ’12 combined to finish sixth in C division. Nickbarg emphasized the importance of the enigmatic Charles River.

“With the Charles, it’s sort of hard to notice any trends in the wind,” Nickbarg said. “At Yale we don’t sail on a river or a lake, so it’s a different strategy.”

The coeds emerged victorious in a third regatta, winning the Boston College Invitational in Dorchester, Mass.The regatta, which consisted of nine teams, was sailed simultaneously in two divisions.The Bulldogs sent a young squad of four, and it did not disappoint. In A division, skipper Morgan Kiss ’15 and crew Katherine Gaumond ’15 won handily, with four victories in just 10races. With four first-place finishes out of the last six races, Kiss noted her team’s development.

“We felt that we improved as the weekend progressed,” Kiss said. “It was good for us to practice in the shifty conditions. Sailing events at different venues has helped us become more comfortable in different conditions.”

Next weekend, the women’s and coed teams will travel to Cambridge, Mass. to attempt to qualify for the Atlantic Coast Championships. In addition, the coeds will send a team to Connecticut College as well as hosting the Dave Perry Trophy here at the Yale Corinthian Yacht Club.

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