SAILING: Bulldogs tame the seas

The No. 1 coed and women’s sailing teams each claimed major victories this weekend, further establishing themselves as the squads to beat on the water.

On the coed side, the headline event of the weekend was the New England Match Race Championship held at Salve Regina. Yale overcame No. 3 Boston College in the finals, winning 2–0 and defending its Match Race title from last season.

More importantly, the win secured a berth in the ICSA Match Racing National Championship, which will take place Nov. 22 through Nov. 24. Yale is seeking to make amends for a heartbreaking loss in the finals last season, when the team fell to Tufts University 2–1 by losing the final two races.

“We’re excited to have qualified for the Nationals again,” skipper and captain Chris Segerblom ’14 said. “Defending the New England title was a bonus.”

Segerblom, alongside crews Max Nickbarg ’14 and Mary Isler ’16, had to fight their way to the victory. The team was not experienced in sailing with Ynglings, a type of boat that it did not use last year. Still, the team concluded the initial round robin on Saturday with a 5–2 mark. The performance was good enough for the third seed entering Sunday’s action.

But the Elis stepped up, and with wins over No. 15 MIT, No. 8 Roger Williams and ultimately Boston College, the regatta belonged to Yale. Segerblom credited the team’s improved communication and familiarity with the Ynglings as the key to victories.

“Our victory in the final was really a testament to our steady improvement over the course of the weekend,” Saegerblom said. “Max and Marly’s excellent crew work allowed me to focus on tactics, and together we made sure we were always faster than the other boat.”

The coed team was active elsewhere over the weekend as well, snagging a third place at the Moody Trophy hosted by the University of Rhode Island. The Bulldogs also placed fourth in a competition featuring 10 other schools at the Storm Trysail Regatta, held at Larchmont Yacht Club.

This weekend, Skipper Graham Landy ’15 saw regattas from a perspective different from that of the participant that he usually is, as he accompanied the Bulldog underclassmen that were racing at the Moody Trophy as a coach. Skippers Ian Barrows ’17 and Mitchell Kiss ’17 demonstrated great improvement over the weekend, indicating bright futures for the freshmen.

Not to be outdone by the coed team, the No. 1 women’s team took home the biggest fall regatta of its season, coming out on top at the Women’s Navy Fall Regatta, hosted by the US Naval Academy.

Despite concerns that the event might be postponed or even cancelled due to the government shutdown that halted many of the Naval Academy’s other activities, the regatta went on as planned. 18 races later, the Bulldogs proved their dominance with a 73-point victory.

The three-division event featured some of the nation’s top programs. No. 9 College of Charleston came in second, followed by No. 4 Navy and No. 5 Stanford.

The Navy Fall Regatta proved to be a testament to Yale’s depth as it is the lone three-division event in the fall season.

Leading the way for the Elis was the tandem of skipper Morgan Kiss ’15 and crew Amanda Salvesen ’14, as the duo finished atop the A-division standings by 12 points. Out of 18 races, they fell out of the top 10 just twice. in addition to placing first seven times.

Captain and skipper Marlena Fauer ’14 teamed up with Eugenia Custo Greig ’14 in the B division to finish in the top five eleven times. The effort earned them a third-place finish, just three points out of second.

“This weekend was very important because we were sailing at the venue where the women’s nationals are being held,” Fauer said. “We were able to excel in very difficult conditions … the victory is very exciting.”

Rounding out the effort for the Bulldogs was skipper Urska Kosir ’15 in the C division, which featured individual racers. Kosir had a wonderful performance in the laser radial, only to finish fourth overall due to an unexpected disqualification in the 15th race. Kosir, who qualified for the ICSA Women’s Singlehanded Nationals on Oct. 6, would have been victorious in the division if it were not for the penalty.

Kosir brushed off the infraction, as she was fully aware of her strong performance on the water. She also said that the team is looking into whether or not the penalty should have been enforced. A Stanford sailor protested that Kosir hit the windward mark, only for the jury to conclude that there was no evidence of any such penalty. However, they did find that Kosir “tacked too close” to another competitor, and thus earned a penalty.

“I will make sure to stay away from any form of conflict on the race course in the future,” Kosir said. “I should be aware that I did well on Sunday and no matter what, I won on the water. I had only lost in the conference room during the protest from another sailor.”

Both top-ranked teams will look to keep their momentum going next weekend.

The coed team will be sailing the Hoyt Intersectional at Brown, a regatta raced in double-handed dinghies. The women’s team will be competing at the Stu Nelson Trophy, at Connecticut College, as preparation for the Atlantic Coast Championship qualifiers in two weeks.

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