The Yale coed sailing team came in second at the New England Team Race Championship this past weekend, qualifying the squad for the National Championships in June at Saint Mary’s College.
Seven athletes represented Yale in the regional competition, and the entire coed racing team will compete at the National Championships in Saint Mary’s City, Md. Participating athletes included Chris Segerblom ’14, Charlotte Belling ’16, Graham Landy ’15, Eugenia Custo Greig ’14, Katherine Gaumond 15, Ian Barrows ’17 and Meredith Megarry ’17.
The team is coming off of a solid bout of training, as the Bulldogs traveled to Saint Petersburg, Fla. over spring break to get in some water time and to escape the chilly Connecticut weather. The team focuses on fleet racing in the fall, and trains for team racing in the spring, according to Chandler Gregoire ’17.
“We had great training in Florida, and we had a lot of alumni come down to St. Pete with us and practice,” Gregoire said. “We got in a lot of team racing.”
The hard work the team has put in since the fall is paying off in competition, as Yale is currently the number one ranked team in the country.
Despite the weather up North, Gregoire said the team has been practicing well at its home location. The team recently received a fleet of 18 brand-new z420 boats, which are an entirely new model. Since the use of this new boat is not yet widespread, the team can take advantage of the sailboats in practice, but will not race in them.
“We have been the most consistent team all season,” Segerblom said. “That said, we have plenty to work on between now and Nationals.”
The Elis have displayed great depth, as six underclassmen brought the team to an eighth-place finish at the Mystic Lake Team Race Invitation at Tufts this past weekend. Yale sent Eric Anderson ’16, Marly Isler ’16, Mitchell Kiss ’17, Emily Johnson ’16, Megan Valentine ’16 and Clara Robertson ’17.
Isabelle Rossi de Leon ’17 said that the Bulldogs have a strong team dynamic, which contributes to the team’s success.
“My teammates have pushed me to refine my skills, offered me academic advice and really everything in between,” Rossi de Leon said. “Our team is about supporting one another, having fun and succeeding. This first year as a Yale sailor has shown me that though our sport may be individualistic in some ways, the true joy of sailing is the family that forms around it and extends off the water.”
Yale boasted wins against Boston College, Dartmouth, Harvard and Tufts at the New England Team Race Championship and beat Boston College, Boston University, Bowdoin and Harvard at the Mystic Lake Team Race Invitation.
As the Bulldogs look forward to preparing for Nationals, the team seeks to defend last year’s title as National Champions.
“We are happy to have qualified for the team race nationals with significantly less drama than in prior years,” Segerblom said. “We wanted to win, but ultimately qualifying is all that matters.”
The Yale sailing teams practice out of the The Yale Corinthian Yacht Club in Branford, Conn.