Coming off of two consecutive Team Race national championships and three straight Ivy League titles, the Yale coed sailing team will look to defend its titles this year with a squad of seasoned veterans and talented freshman.
The team ended last season with spectacular performances, capturing both the Fleet Race National Championship and Team Race National Championship. Additionally, the Bulldogs earned the Fowle Trophy — an award granted to the team accumulating the highest point total in a given season — as the best college sailing team in the nation.
“Our main goal this year is definitely to reclaim the Fowle Trophy and the National Championship title,” skipper Mitchell Kiss ’17 said.
Despite losing six graduating seniors, members of the team said they are still confident that they can continue their legacy from last season.
Captain and 2013-’14 College Sailor of the Year Graham Landy ’15 said he believes that the incoming freshman class has great potential and will contribute to this year’s success.
“Obviously it is tough to replace the existing seniors, but the team has had a great recruiting class,” Landy said. “[Head coach] Zach Leonard ’89 has become very good at recruiting … and we have consistently had the best recruiting class in the country.”
Casey Klingler ’18 and Malcolm Lamphere ’18 are the team’s top recruits, according to Landy. He added that the pair should be able to contribute right away.
Among returning sailors, Landy said that skippers Ian Barrows ’17 (2013–’14 all-American) and Kiss will continue to be major contributors this season. In addition, Katherine Gaumond ’15 and Charlotte Belling ’16 were top-performing crews from last season and will lead the team alongside Landy, he added.
Leonard said that, more than anything else, he expects effort and integrity from the team.
“We try not to focus on results as much as the process … of trying to improve as much as we can,” Leonard said. “If we are being supportive of each other, learn from each other and help each other improve as fast as possible, then we will do well and enjoy the process.”
Kiss agreed that Leonard’s coaching has been crucial to the team’s success. He said that Leonard has taken the team to the next level through the unparalleled effort the coach has put into the team.
Major tournaments in the upcoming months include the Men’s Singlehanded Championships on Sep. 27, and the Atlantic Coast Championship on Nov. 15.