After more than a century of waiting, the sailors of the Yale Corinthian Yacht Club have finally brought home a national title.
The women’s sailing team, led by skippers Molly Carapiet ’06 and Emily Hill ’07, won the Intercollegiate Sailing Association’s North American Championships, held May 26-29 in Cascade Lakes, Oregon. The Bulldogs, ranked second in the nation at the end of the regular season, upset No. 1 Harvard with a 21-point margin of victory. The win marks the first national championship in the 100-plus year history of Yale sailing and only the second national title won by a Yale team in the 2003-2004 season. Women’s squash won nationals earlier this year. The sailing victory comes little more than two years after the team attained varsity status.
Carapiet said the whole year’s worth of sailing had been building up to the victory in Oregon but added that the task was still not complete.
“It was the hard work of the whole team all year that allowed us to win,” Carapiet said. “I’m really happy with how well everyone on the team sailed, but we still have a lot to work on for next year.”
Carapiet and crews Jenn Hoyle ’05 and Julie Papanek ’05 finished third in A division, while Hill and crews Meghan Pearl ’06 and Sarah Himmelfarb ’06 finished second in B division. Carapiet was named an All- American and Hill earned an honorable mention following the championships. Hoyle was named to the list of All-American crews.
Although the women led the scoreboard for most of the regatta, the Bulldogs’ victory was not certain until right before the final B division race, both Carapiet and Pearl said.
“We didn’t know we had won until Molly finished her last A division race and our coach started beeping the car horn,” Pearl said.
After scores of Yale skippers tried and failed to win a national championship as seniors and juniors, Carapiet and Hill have won the national championship as a sophomore-freshman pair. Still, the win should have little effect on the team’s plans for next season, Pearl said.
“I don’t think it changes our plans at all,” Pearl said. “Our goal is always the same — to become better sailors. Hopefully, we will practice hard and go back and win it again next year.”
The coed sailing team also competed in the North American Championships. Yale placed ninth of 18 in the coed regatta June 2-4. Carapiet and crews Hoyle and Hill finished 10th in A division, where Carapiet was the only female skipper, and Phil Stemler ’07 and Matt Barry ’07 combined with crews Meredith Killion ’05 and Sarah Himmelfarb ’06 to finish 10th in B division.