SAILING | Coed sailing takes first

The sailing teams had mixed results this past weekend with a first-place finish, two third-place finishes, and a fifth-place finish.
The sailing teams had mixed results this past weekend with a first-place finish, two third-place finishes, and a fifth-place finish. Photo by Zeenat Mansoor.

The No. 1 coed sailing team captured the Southern New England Team Race last weekend and had positive outcomes for the coed and No. 2 women’s teams at other races.

The coed team competed in two team racing regattas, winning 13-3 at the Southern New England Team Race Intersectional hosted by Connecticut College on the Thames River and coming in third with a score of 10-4 at the Mystic Lake Team Racing Invitational at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. The third place finish was just one win short of tying for first. The Bulldogs came in fifth at the Boston University Trophy, a fleet race regatta on the Charles River. Boston University took first. Women’s sailing finished third at the Brad Dellenbaugh Women’s Interconference Regatta, hosted by Brown University in Providence, R.I. The host claimed the win.

“I was happy with the team at the Southern New England Team Race,” sailing head coach Zachary Leonard ’89 said in an email to the News. “I thought we learned a lot this weekend, that I hope can make [our results] even better next time.”

In team races, three boats from a school, each with a skipper and crew, race against three boats from another school, trying to prevent the other team from advancing as they traverse a course. The result of a round is determined by the sum of a team’s places, and teams must implement specific strategies against the opponent to earn a winning combination of places.

On the Thames, the Bulldogs tackled spotty winds on Saturday to win 10 of their 11 races in a round robin, then attained a 3-2 record on Sunday in races with the top five other teams amidst light breezes.

Crew Genoa Warner ’12 said the key factor in the team’s victory was its communication off the water, which allowed them to remain focused throughout the two-day regatta.

“In our last team race regatta at St. Mary’s, a bad race got us down … and then we lost a few more after that,” Warner said. “[This time,] we talked through everything with our coach after each race and also made efforts to stay lighthearted [after a loss].”

Crew Heather May ’13 said the team recognized that prior losses were due to increasing physical and mental fatigue over the course of the regattas. She said the team consciously made efforts to sustain its concentration throughout this weekend’s taxing regatta to attain consistent execution.

The Elis clinched the victory in the Southern New England Team Race on their final contest against Hobart William Smith. The victory placed them two points ahead of the Statesmen.

At the Mystic Lake team race, Skipper Max Nickbarg ’14 said he was satisfied with Yale’s close result, adding that they competed in many close rounds and encountered rapidly shifting and unpredictable winds from one to nine knots throughout the weekend.

In fleet racing, where each school is represented by a single boat, the coed team had a disappointing showing in Boston. The Charles River’s notoriously unpredictable and shifting sailing conditions, with breezes from six to 10 knots on Saturday and near still air on Sunday, did not serve well for the Elis. They earned sixth place in both the A and B divisions, which resulted in an ultimate fifth place at the Boston University Trophy.

However, the women’s team won the A division in the 17-boat fleet race in Dellenbaugh. Skipper Marlena Fauer ’14, who earned the division victory with Eugenia Greig ’14 by eight points, attributed their success to consistency as they adapted to the shifting sailing conditions. Although they never won an individual race, they also never placed out of the top ten, unlike all of their competitors.

“We stayed very level-headed for the most part and kept most of our emotions in check,” Fauer said. “We also took risks at the right time and didn’t try to win the race right from the start. We waited for our competitors to make mistakes and then picked off boats [until] we were in the top group.”

Fauer said she views the overall third place finish as a success, though she added that the team is still focusing on improving its consistency and execution, and looking to improve its results in later regattas.

The coed team will hone both team racing and fleet racing skills in preparation for next weekend’s Marchiando Friis Team Race at Tufts and MIT, and the Admiral Alymers Trophy at Massachusetts Maritime. The women’s team will compete at the President’s Trophy Regatta in Boston, Mass.

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