In spite of frigid weather conditions for much of the weekend, the No. 1 coed and women’s sailing teams took care of business, each qualifying for the Atlantic Coast Championships (ACCs), which match the best teams of the East Coast against each other. The ACCs will take place the weekend of Nov. 12. The coed team sailed in two other regattas, winning one and placing both third and seventh in the other.
The coeds were active on three fronts, but their most important engagement was the MIT-hosted Erwin Schell Trophy at which they finished third. A qualifier for the coed ACCs, the top seven finishers out of 18 will represent New England at Harvard in a fortnight’s time to round out the fall season for college sailing.
At the Erwin Schell Trophy, the top three places were tightly contested. The Bulldogs finished just four points out of first place and two points out of second. In A division, skipper and captain Joe Morris ’12 and crews Isabel Elliman ’12 and Heather May ’13 combined to finish third, with nine top-five finishes out of 18 races. May, who crewed races three through 18, credited the team’s good showing to its persistence.
“It really came down to having the mentality of fighting till the end,” she said. “In such a long regatta with so many races, sticking to it and giving our all really helped.”
Many of the freshmen on the coed team were occupied this weekend at the Nickerson Trophy, the New England Freshman Championships, hosted by Connecticut College on the Thames River. The Bulldogs crushed their 10 opponents, placing first by a massive 31 points through just 11 races in two divisions. In A division, skipper Graham Landy ’15 teamed with crew Katherine Gaumond ’15 to win the division by 20 points. Over the 11 races, the pair accrued 28 points, including just one finish outside the top five. Landy cited his familiarity with crew Gaumond when explaining how the pair was able to adapt to the shifting winds.
“I think Kate and I have been sailing together a lot lately so we’ve learned to work with each other in all types of breezes,” he said. “Despite our size we were able to keep control when the wind was heavy and we were able to take advantage of our strength — our lightness — when the breeze was thin.”
In B division, skipper Morgan Kiss ’15 and crews William Feldman ’14 and Sarah Smith ’15 won with similar dominance, racking up just 26 points from 11 races, never finishing out of the top five. The Bulldogs’ victory in this regatta bodes well for the future of Yale sailing.
Also of note was the presence of sophomore crew Feldman at this freshman regatta. Several teams were able to bring an upperclassman to the regatta because of concerns about the extreme conditions. Feldman, a hulking sophomore, ensured that Kiss’ boat would stay under control in the races on choppier water. Besides, Feldman said, “I’m a freshman at heart.”
Also this weekend, the coed team hosted the 2nd Dave Perry Trophy in Branford, Conn. Both Dartmouth and Yale fielded two teams each, so the two schools combined to form half of the regatta of eight teams. Nonetheless, the two teams of Bulldogs had varying levels of success, finishing third and seventh out of eight. One of the skippers for the third-place finishers, Max Nickbarg ’12, pointed out the difficulties posed by the turbulent weather, especially on Saturday.
“On Saturday when it snowed, it was a full whiteout from the blizzard, so you couldn’t see any of the marks,” he said.
The No. 1 women’s team sailed in only one regatta this weekend, the Victorian Urn hosted by Harvard on the Charles River, which was the qualifier for the women’s ACCs. As the top seven teams out of 18 qualified, the Bulldogs’ fifth-place finish secured a spot at the ACCs in two weeks’ time, which the New York Maritime Academy will host.
The Elis’ fifth-place result left them just three points out of third. The regatta was sailed in two divisions, with 12 races completed in each. In A division, two teams split the sailing duties to finish a respectable sixth: skipper Claire Dennis ’13 and crew Margot Benedict ’12 finished no higher than fifth in any of their six races. The other team of skipper Marlena Fauer ’14 and Eugenia Custo Greig ’14 fared better, finishing in the top five in four of their six races. In B, skipper Emily Billing ’13 and crew Amanda Salvesen ’14 combined for second place. The pair finished in the top five in seven of the 12 races of the regatta. Salvesen attributed much of the pair’s success to its patience.
“We did our best by just trying to stay consistent,” she said. “In a lot of races, instead of going for first, we settled for fifth. We were happy with top-five finishes because the fleet was being so inconsistent.”
Next weekend, Cam Cullman ’13 will travel to Chicago to compete in the Men’s Singlehanded National Championships, for which he qualified earlier this fall. His women’s team counterparts, Dennis and Billing, will do the same for the Women’s Singlehanded National Championships next weekend.