After a busy start to the fall season, this weekend the No. 3 coed sailing team proved that quality is more important than quantity. Despite sailing in only two regattas, the team still managed to make its mark, something the No. 1 women’s team was unable to do as too much wind blew out its regatta.
The coeds emerged victorious in the Navy Fall Intersectional, one of the most important regattas of the year, and finished a respectable fifth at the Captain Hurst Bowl in New Hampshire.
With 18 teams in attendance from all across the country sailing in four divisions, the Navy Fall Intersectional in Annapolis, Md. is the biggest regatta of the season both in size and arguably in prestige. The regatta’s importance prompted the Bulldogs to bring a large and versatile squad so that they could adapt to any conceivable change in the wind.
The coeds finished in the top three in three of the four divisions of the regatta. In A division, skipper and captain Joe Morris ’12 teamed up with crews Isabel Elliman ’12, William Feldman ’14, and Heather May ‘13 to achieve third place. Morris’ boat finished in the top 10 in 15 out of the 18 races in the division.
This intersectional was unusual, as two of the four divisions, C and D, were sailed in Lasers and Laser Radials, respectively. As a result, Cam Cullman ’13 and Claire Dennis ’13, two of the best Laser sailors in the country, were particularly able to give the Bulldogs a boost in the regatta.
In C division, Cullman finished 11 points over his closest competitor. His dominance included 14 top-10finishes and six victories. Cullman’s success came just a week after he qualified in first place for the National Championships in Lasers. For those efforts, Cullman was named New England Intercollegiate Sailing AssociationCoed Sailor of the Week.
In D division, Dennis narrowly placed second, finishing just five points behind the victor. Since the one-person Laser Radials in D division were sailed both by men and women, Dennis’ finish was a real testament to her skills.
Morris stressed that the victory at the Navy Fall Intersectional came down to team effort, but he also emphasized the impact of Cullman and Dennis.
“I think the result speaks to the depth of our team,” Morris said. “Both Cam and Claire held us together in the laser fleet.”
The coed team participated in one other regatta this weekend, the Captain Hurst Bowl in Hanover, N.H., in which the traveling squad secured a fifth-place finish out of 22 teams. Although many of the coed team’s most experienced sailors were occupied at the Navy Fall Intersectional, the youthful team of Bulldogs in Hanover impressively took care of business against stiff competition. In A division, skipper Graham Landy ’15 and crews Katherine Gaumond ’15 and Madeline Yozwiak ’14 finished fourth. Landy and Gaumond both said they felt that they improved as the regatta progressed.
“The conditions were challenging,” Landy said. “It took some time to get used to. At first I was inconsistent, but as we sailed more on the lake we recognized what we needed to work on and were able to improve.”
“I think we work together well,” Gaumond agreed. “We got a lot better at making good decisions when we were behind and being more conservative.”
Wind prohibited the women’s team from hosting the Yale Women’s Intersectional on home turf in Branford, Conn. On both Saturday and Sunday, head sailing coach Zachary Leonard ’89 sent skipper Marlena Fauer ’14 and crew Eugenia Custo Greig ’14 out to test the waters. Both days, the water was too rough to sail.
“It was really windy,” Fauer said. “When we got around the point where the racecourse would be set, we basically couldn’t make any upwind progress because the waves were so big.”
Next weekend, weather permitting, the coed team will send squads to four regattas in the Northeast hosted by Brown, MIT, Boston College and Roger Williams. The women’s team will travel to Connecticut College for the Stu Nelson Trophy.