As the fall season comes to a close, the sailing team is making a strong bid for a national title.

National rankings released Oct. 21 place the Yale women’s team first and the coed team second, up from second and fourth, respectively. The rankings are determined by a panel of coaches for Sailing World Magazine, made up of Georgetown’s Michael Callahan, Tufts’ Ken Legler, and USC’s Mike Segerblom.

This poll marks the first time both the women’s and coed teams have been ranked in the top three in the last five years. But coed captain Meredith Killion ’05 said the Bulldogs are not taking the rankings too seriously.

“It’s nice we’re ranked highly,” she said. “But at the same time, it’s not that big of an issue if we’re not ranked so highly. We don’t pay too much attention to [the rankings].”

USC retains its top position in the coed rankings. Kings Point, Boston College, and Hobart and William Smith are third, fourth, and fifth, respectively.

In the women’s rankings, Brown, Charleston, Dartmouth, and Georgetown follow the Elis.

The Elis are coming off a weekend in which they sent out teams to the Erwin Schell Trophy at MIT, the Victorian Urn Trophy at Harvard, the Nickerson Trophy at Yale, and the War Memorial Trophy at Navy. Yale nabbed a second place and two third place finishes in four regattas, showing off the depth of their roster.

The Bulldogs hope to keep their momentum going into the Atlantic Coast Championships on Nov. 13–14. MIT will host the coed event, while Charleston will host the women’s championship.

The Elis have high hopes for their performance at the event.

“I think we can do quite well,” All-American Stu McNay ’05 said. “We have a shot at winning it, but I would expect to finish in the top five.”

To do so, the Bulldogs will have to conquer the treacherous wind conditions of the Charles River, where the coed ACC take place.

“[The Charles River] is a tricky location to sail,” McNay said. “The wind is much more unpredictable, so we will have to be resilient when the wind shifts in an undesirable direction.”

Phil Stemler ’07 said he was happy about the new rankings and he was looking forward to the ACC.

“It definitely feels good to have that ranking,” Stemler said. “It’s an indicator of how we’ve done this fall.”

Stemler is a contributing reporter for the Yale Daily News.

Whatever the conditions of the event, a national title is still the Bulldogs’ ultimate goal, Stemler said.

“Honestly, it’s nice that [the coaches’ panel] thinks so highly of us, but it all comes down to how we do at ACCs and nationals,” he said. “That’s what I think is the real basis to rate our performance. It’s how we do at the best regattas with the best people.”

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