Despite young rosters, Yale co-ed and women’s sailing are off to strong starts after their second weekend of competition.
This weekend, the No. 6 co-ed team won the Lake Champlain Open at Vermont and the Boston Harbor Invitational at Boston College, while taking second in the Hatch Brown Trophy hosted by MIT on the Charles River. The women’s team, meanwhile, also took second place at the Mrs. Hurst Bowl which is hosted by Dartmouth on Lake Mascoma.
Both the women’s regatta and the Hatch Brown Trophy are intersectional top-tier races, which makes the high finishes even more important said women’s captain Blair Belling ’11.
Belling, who won the B division at Hatch Brown alongside Cameron Cullman ’13, said that she was particularly impressed by the teams’ showings given the lack of collegiate experience for many of the sailors.
“We’re a younger team, but we have a lot of potential,” she said, “So far we’ve had some great regattas.”
The regatta on the Charles River featured Amanda Salvesen ’14 alongside co-ed Captain Joseph Morris ’12 in the A division, and Chris Segerblom ’14 who skippered Elizabeth Brim ’11.
The six Yalies at MIT faced poor conditions throughout the weekend. The venue, which Belling said is known as one of the toughest in sailing because of shifty and unpredictable winds, had almost no wind this past weekend which made for tough sailing.
The Bulldogs finished the weekend in second place, earning 131 points — six points behind first-place St. Mary’s.
“[St. Mary’s is] one of our biggest competitors,” Belling said. “We race them a lot.”
The women’s team at the Mrs. Hurst Bowl faired equally well.
Despite being relatively inexperienced on lakes, the Bulldogs defeated No. 2 Brown to take second place behind No. 10 Connecticut College. Claire Dennis ’13 and Heather May ’13 finished fifth in the A division, while the pair of Marlena Fauer ’14 and Eugenia Custo Greig ’14 took second place in the B Division.
Rob Struckett ’12 and Isabel Elliman ’12 led the way for the Bulldog victory in Vermont with a decisive win in the A Division of their regatta.
“Rob and Isabelle have such a great attitude that they bring to the team,” said Morris. “I was really happy to see them do so well.”
Belling said the teams’ early successes are especially promising given how many new partnerships are still being formed.
But Morris said the team still can make improvements.
He said in addition to working on getting the freshman sailors prepared for nationals in June, the team still needs to work on its starts, which are an important part of the regattas because the courses are so short.
“There are a lot of good things happening now,” Belling said, “but we still have some work to do.”
The women’s team will travel to Boston University next weekend for the Regis Bowl, and the co-ed team will split up for five different regattas: the St. Mary’s Fall Intersectional; the Hood Trophy; the Chris Loder Trophy; the Salt Pond Invitational and the Larry White Trophy New England Match Racing Championship.