On Nov. 3, the No. 1 co-ed sailing team placed third at the Erwin Schell Trophy hosted by MIT, qualifying for the Atlantic Coast Championships in the process. The Bulldogs have held the No. 1 ranking for most of the year and have won four intersectional regattas, including their most recent triumph at the Sherman Hoyt Trophy hosted by Brown on Oct. 27. In light of the team’s success, The News sat down with skipper Graham Landy ’15 to discuss the season and the upcoming championship season. The Bulldogs travel to the Atlantic Coast Dinghy Championship this weekend; the following weekend, the coed team will head south for the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association Match Racing Championship at South Florida.
Q. Did you expect to have a fall season full of success, or are you at bit surprised at how the team has done early on?
A.We have been very impressed with how we have done. I think we were expecting to do quite well given the returning talent and kids we were bringing in. I don’t think that our team has displayed this kind of consistency in quite a long time. So, it’s been a very enjoyable fall.
Q. Are you impressed with how the freshmen have done this fall?
A. I think they have adapted quite well to college sailing, both the girls and the boys. The skippers have been very impressive and the crews have done quite well. College sailing often takes time to get used to because of the shorter courses and smaller margin for error. I think that this year has been one of the quickest transitions of a freshman class to date.
Q. Were you impressed with skipper Mitchell Kiss ’17, who placed fourth at the ICSA Men’s Singlehanded National Championship this past weekend?
A. I was watching him at the Moody Trophy [at URI on Oct. 12 and 13] and he struggled the first day but the second day he had it really figured out. I think that [is] a testament to the steep learning curve he’s been going through and his hard work paying off.
Q. Are you happy that Yale has a big enough team to split up and compete at many regattas at one time, or is it somewhat of a distraction?
A. It can be a little bit of [a] distraction to the younger players on the team just because they might not necessarily have a set crew or skipper that they are always sailing with. You do learn things sailing with other people so it definitely can be helpful as well.
Q. What is it like having to compete in so many different classes of regattas that feature different types of boats?
A. The fall is definitely the season where we all sail in classes more so than the spring. So it makes it a little bit more difficult to practice for everything. You have to be on your toes every weekend but it also does a good job at testing who the best sailors are just because they are able to adapt quicker to different classes.
Q. What are your expectations for the upcoming Atlantic Coast Championships and then ICSA Match Racing Championships the weekend after?
A. I think we are in a position to do quite well. We’ve been having some great practices and looking to carry the momentum that we’ve built up all season.
Q. Do you feel as if the team has somewhat of a target on its back, being ranked No. 1 for most of the season?
A. I think a little bit but generally that doesn’t faze us. We still have to go out and perform the same way.