The changing leaves on campus may signal the height of fall, but for most of Yale’s freshman sailors, they also mark the end of the season.

The Elis finished 15th at the Freshman Atlantic Coast Championships this weekend in Rhode Island with 283 points, with Boston College, Hobart and William Smith, and Charleston taking the top three places. Boston College dominated the weekend with consistent performances to finish with 101 points overall. After eight races on Saturday, the Bulldogs recovered to move up from 17th.

“We got more comfortable in the fleet,” Grace Becton ’09 said. “We didn’t feel like we had to prove anything, so we went out and did the best that we could.”

In the A division, skipper Jane Macky ’09 and Caleb Dorfman ’09 placed 18th with 160 points. Dorfman is usually Macky’s heavy crew, but he said he still sailed with his fellow rookie despite light wind condtions. In the B division, skipper Kate Hagemann ’09 and Becton finished the day 12th with 123 points.

Dorfman said the ACCs were a good learning experience for the freshmen, especially because they faced a larger and more competitive fleet than in the other regattas this season, such as last weekend’s Nickerson Trophy, where the freshmen finished eighth.

“We learned to take each situation that did not start out well from the beginning and tried to make the best of it,” Dorfman said.

The freshmen Elis did not send a team to the ACCs last year. But this time around, the Bulldogs drew inspiration from head coach Zack Leonard.

“Our coach was there with us,” Becton said. “He kept it upbeat so that we realized that this was one of the first big regattas and we have the future to look forward to.”

Women’s team captain Molly Carapiet ’06 said this freshman class has a lot of talent and has been working hard all fall, though they have the potential to do better.

“I think they come to the team with a diverse background and new skills that add to the team,” Carapiet said.

While most of the freshmen finished their season last weekend, Macky will continue to train for the ICSA/Vanguard Singlehanded Championships, which will be held November 18-20 at the University of Hawaii. Macky will join Carapiet and Emily Hill ’07 for the regatta.

Besides Singlehandeds, Carapiet and Hill will help lead the No. 1 women’s sailing team at the women’s ACCs at the Coast Guard Academy Nov. 12-13. The Bulldogs will send skipper Carapiet and crew Hannah Oakland ’07 in the A division and skipper Hill and crew Meghan Pearl ’06 and heavy crew Kendra Emhiser ’07 in the B division.

“I hope we will sail the best we can and have fun with it,” Carapiet said.