SAILING | Elis hit preseason high

The women’s sailing team finished second in the nation last season and goes into this season ranked first by a 51-point margin.
The women’s sailing team finished second in the nation last season and goes into this season ranked first by a 51-point margin. Photo by Zeenat Mansoor.

Starting with their highest preseason rankings in more than a decade, the Yale sailing teams hope the momentum continues to build throughout the fall.

The women’s sailing team is coming off a second-place finish at the Intercollegiate Sailing Association Women’s National Championships and topped the preseason Sailing World College Rankings, released Monday, with 201 points, a 51-point lead over Boston College in second. The coed team placed third in the ICSA nationals, and ranked No. 2 in the standings at 247 points, behind Georgetown with 270 points.

“Our team’s goal is to keep improving [and] stay motivated,” women’s captain Emily Billing ’13 said. “We have a strong group of girls this year,”

Morgan Kiss ’15, who competes on both the women’s and the coed teams, said she is optimistic about the upcoming season and added that she refined her skills during her freshman year. Despite the nine members of the class of 2012 on the combined teams who graduated, Kiss said she thinks the team’s six freshmen — four women and two men — will adjust quickly.

The team hopes to carry the momentum from its strong finish in the nationals last season and its No. 1 preseason ranking through to victory this fall, though Billing said team members will be particularly focused on using the regattas to boost their skills in competition setting.

Billing said she hopes the teams will improve the tactical and boat-handling skills that can help them sail in a successful fall season.

“We are going to take every race at a time, and we want to make sure we learn from each one to help us in the long run,” Billing said. “We want to bring that attitude from our races more into our practices to help us all improve as much as possible.”

The first regattas of the season will be the Harry Anderson Trophy at Yale and Pine Trophy Sloop Elims at the Coast Guard Academy on Sept. 8 to 9 for the coed team, and the Women’s Toni Deutsch Trophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the women’s team.

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