Both the No. 1 coed and No. 2 women’s sailing teams took advantage of five-day training programs at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla., over the break, in addition to participating in several regattas.
The coed team first traveled to Maryland March 9-10 for the St. Mary’s Team Race, finishing fourth. The next weekend, after completing its training in Florida, the coed team defended its title at the largest fleet race of the season, the Truxtun Umstead hosted by Navy in Annapolis, Md. On the final weekend of spring break, the Bulldogs divided and conquered. At Navy, the coed team won the Owen, Mosbacher and Knapp trophies, the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association equivalent of the Ivy League Championships. The Bulldogs also sent boats to the Boston Dinghy Cup hosted by Harvard and MIT and the Central Series Two hosted by BU, placing eighth and third, respectively.
The women’s team began spring break with the Navy Women’s Interconference Regatta March 9-10 and the St. Mary’s Women’s Interconference Regatta March 16-17, placing fourth both weekends. This weekend they rebounded well at the Duplin Team Race Regatta hosted by Tufts University, finishing first overall.
“Even though we didn’t finish as well as we would have hoped at Navy and St. Mary’s, we took those regattas as learning experiences,” women’s team captain Marlena Fauer ’14 said. “These fourth place finishes only further fueled our desire to win the upcoming regattas.”
At Navy, the women’s A division boat skippered by Claire Dennis ’13 and crewed by Katherine Gaumond ’15 finished fourth overall, while their B division boat skippered by Emily Billing ’13 and crewed by Amanda Salvesen ’14 came in fifth. At St. Mary’s, skipper Morgan Kiss ’15 and crew Urska Kosir ’15 sailed to a third-place finish in the A division, while Fauer and crew Eugenia Custo Greig ’15 finished fifth in B division competition. The Duplin Team Race featured a different racing format, with a full-team round robin Saturday deciding the final four on Sunday. The Elis lost just one race each day and won the event with a cumulative 12-2 record.
Dennis attributed the team’s training at Eckerd College to the improved result at Tufts.
“The week of training in Florida was essential to our team’s winning performance at the Duplin trophy this past weekend. Our team worked hard to improve and felt we made big strides racing against the guys over break,” she said.
The coed team experienced similar steps forward following the team training in Florida. After a disappointing finish at the St. Mary’s Team Race, the Bulldogs responded by winning the Truxtun Umstead Trophy and the Owen, Mosbacher and Knapp Trophies hosted by Navy.
Head coach Zachary Leonard ’89 said it was clear the training helped push the Bulldogs to victory.
“We had zero days of practice before the St. Mary’s race, and we had a full week of practice in Florida before Navy. It’s a really important part of our season each year,” Leonard said.
The Bulldogs enjoyed a great team-wide effort at the “Trux.” Skipper Graham Landy ’15 and crew Heather May ’15 sailed in both FJs and 420s to win the highly competitive A division, while former national champion laser sailors Cameron Cullman ’13 and Dennis turned in excellent performances as well. Cullman finished second in the C division and Dennis finished first in the D division.
The team’s performance over the two weekends at Navy raised Yale coed to the No. 1 national ranking. However, Landy said that rankings are not the team’s top priority.
“While we are excited to move into first place in the national rankings, it’s important to remember that we can’t become complacent,” he said. “While we take great pride in winning an Ivy League Championship for Yale, our team’s goals center around performing well at the National Championships in May.”
The coed team will sail next weekend at the Southern New England Team Race hosted by Connecticut College and the Mystic Lake Team Race at Tufts, while the women’s team travels to Brown to compete for the Brad Dellenbaugh Trophy.