At the end of exams last year, most Yalies headed around the world for internships or relaxation, their work at school done for the summer. But members of the coed and women’s sailing teams still had jobs to do in May and early June.
This past summer, the squads set a steady course in the postseason to win two national championships and clinch second in a third. With these performances, the Bulldogs also secured the Fowle Trophy, an honor bestowed on the university that tops the country in sailing.
“I think what really contributes to our success is how deep our team is,” said women’s team captain Kate Gaumond ’15. “The Fowle Trophy really exemplifies that. Regardless of whatever discipline we’re sailing in, we’re very competitive.”
The past two years have been full of success for Yale. This past June, the coed team won the APS Team Race National Championship, earning the Walter C. Wood Trophy, for the second year in a row. Due to their solid performance early on in the competition, the Yale sailors had to win only two of their final six races to take home the hardware.
According to the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association, this victory marked the first time in at least eight years that a team claimed the title before the final four. The Bulldogs maintained a steady lead throughout three days of racing to accomplish the feat.
“I think we put a lot of effort into consistency and a focus on the process of getting better,” said coed team captain Graham Landy ’15. “The team effort pushed everyone to work their hardest and the results showed.”
The next two days of the coed team’s racing consisted of 15 races in St. Mary’s City, Md. at the Gill Coed Dinghy National Championship. After the first day of racing, the Bulldogs sat in second place in A division while blowing the competitors out of the water in the B division.
By the end of the second day, Yale had won the A and B divisions by 27 and 57 points, respectively, and trounced the closest competitor in the overall standings by 87 points. The victory marked the first time that the Elis had captured the event title in a quarter century.
While the coed team enjoyed championship performances in its two season-ending national competitions, the women’s team finished the season towards the top of the field as well, placing second at the College Sailing Women’s National Championship.
“Clinching two of the three national titles was such an honor for our whole team, but it was a long journey to reach that level of success,” crew Charlotte Belling ’16 said. “We worked so hard to get there, and everyone’s training and committment really shined in the year’s final results.”
With the second place finish, the Elis left the competition with some hardware, securing the New England Women’s Trophy
Due to its performance in the spring season, Yale was awarded the Leonard M. Fowle Trophy for the second year in a row. Nine Yalies were named to the All-American Team.
“We’ll be continuing to work hard to avoid complacency,” Landy said. “We have been fortunate to have an outstanding group of freshmen the past two years to push the returning sailors. Last year we took a lot of time off before nationals to stay rested, and I think our coaches will continue to find the correct balance of preparedness and rest.”
The Yale squads will add five freshman to its roster of 20 veterans this coming fall season.