With the women’s team traveling to Charleston, S.C. and the coed team shipping up to Boston, Mass. last weekend for different events, both sailing teams turned in strong performances to build momentum as the spring racing season gets underway.
The No. 2-ranked women finished second overall at the Charleston Women’s Interconference Regatta on the Cooper River in their first contest of the spring season, while the No. 3 coed team also came in second at the Sharp Trophy Team Race hosted by Harvard on the Charles River. The host College of Charleston Cougars easily won the women’s event, finishing well clear of Yale and third place Georgetown. The coed Bulldogs finished with a 10-3 round-robin record, leaving them one loss behind first-place Brown in their second regatta of the season.
“For some of us, this weekend was our first time traveling to a regatta this spring,” coed crew Charlotte Belling ’16 said. “Despite our limited time on the water, we were sailing fast and communicating well between boats.”
Three two-person teams competed in Cambridge for the coed team: skipper Cameron Cullman ’13 and his crew, Sarah Smith ’15; captain Chris Segerblom ’14 and Belling; and Graham Landy ’15 and Katherine Gaumond ’15.
After having several races canceled in their opening regatta at Charleston last weekend, the Bulldogs were again frustrated by poor weather and could not complete in a single race on Saturday. Despite starting three different races against MIT, shifty, inconsistent winds led them all to be canceled. Fortunately, Sunday brought a northwesterly breeze that hovered between 2–6 knots, and the Bulldogs responded by racing to a 6–1 record in the round-robin and finishing the day just off the Bears’ pace.
“On a championship weekend the race committee probably would have chosen to not start races as the wind was probably below our league minimum,” head coach Zachary Leonard ’89 said. “But since it was more like a practice event, we ran the races. Everyone did pretty well.”
While the coed team wrapped up its second regatta of the spring season, the women performed well in their first, racing to a second place finish in the nine-team field at Charleston.
Women’s captain Marlena Fauer ’14 and her crew Eugenia Custo Greig ’14 finished fourth overall out of 18 boats and third in the A Division, while Yale’s second boat, sailed by Emily Billing ’13 and Amanda Salvesen ’14, came in second in the B Division and sixth overall. Georgetown’s top boat, skippered by Nancy Hagood, won the regatta.
The Bulldogs sat in third behind Charleston and Georgetown at the conclusion of Saturday’s racing. Due to shifting winds the following day, the course was moved to the middle of the river, where the high-current played to the advantage of the Cougars, who regularly train in high currents.
“The conditions were challenging with lots of current and huge differences in [wind] pressure,” Fauer said. “I think we all handled it very well and with level minds.”
Both the women’s and coed teams will look to build upon their recent success during spring training at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla. Belling said the training will be especially critical since Eckerd is hosting all three double-handed national championships in May.
“We are looking forward to maximizing our time at this venue and finally having the opportunity to get back on the water for some concentrated practice and warm weather,” Belling said.
The coed team travels to St. Mary’s College of Maryland for the St. Mary’s Team Race next weekend, while the women’s team travels to Annapolis, Md., for the Navy Women’s Interconference Regatta.