The coed sailing team sailed through treacherous waters over the weekend, overcoming nature’s will to outperform the competition.
Despite fearsome conditions, the No. 1 coed sailing team ruled the waters once again this past weekend, defending the Danmark Trophy, winning the Hewitt Trophy and placing 10th at the Jesuit Open.
“This win shows how hard we have worked individually and as a group,” crew Charlotte Belling ’16 said. “I think we all want to see how we can improve even more before the big events in the spring, like nationals. We are building momentum, and everyone is working really hard to keep up these top results.”
For the second year in a row, the Bulldogs placed first at Dartmouth, taking home the Danmark trophy by 23 points. Skipper Graham Landy ’15 along with crews Belling and Katherine Gaumond ’15 battled rains on Saturday afternoon and fluctuating winds on Sunday afternoon to come from behind to defend their title. The Elis managed only two top-10 finishes in their first three races, but Landy and company ran off seven podium finishes in the next 12 races to sail away with the A division title by 19 points.
In the B division, classmates Ian Barrows ’17 and Meredith Megarry ’17, after a troublesome first three races, rattled off six straight top-six placed finishes to propel Yale to the upper echelons of the competition. The duo cemented their place atop the B division leaderboard with a win on the 11th race of the day.
“I was incredibly pleased with our team’s performance this weekend” Landy said. “The Danmark is always one of the most challenging regattas of the year, given the depth of the fleet and the difficulty of the venue. Given our results from last year, there is obviously a lot of pressure to perform at an event like this. I think we did a fantastic job of managing expectations and focusing on little details that will allow us to keep improving.”
Elsewhere, the Bulldogs pierced the topsails of the competition winning the three-division Hewitt Trophy by a massive 38 points spread. Yale stood on the podium for 22 of the 45 races during the weekend. In the A division, skipper Mitchell Kiss ’17 along with crews Sarah Smith ’15 and Clara Robertson ’17 took the wind out of their opponents sails, finishing first or second in 10 out of the 15 races during the regatta. Smith, along with crew Chandler Gregoire ’17, helped skipper Malcom Lamphere ’18 place fourth.
In the C division skipper Casey Kingler ’18 got her sea legs sailing with the coed team for the first time this year. The Hotchkiss School alum — the same preparatory school from which Landy and Belling hail — placed fourth, with the help of crews Natalya Doris ’17 and Isabelle Rossi de Leon ’17 placed fourth.
“I was very happy with the weekend’s performance,” Belling said. “Our underclassmen have had outstanding performances this fall. Both classes have shown a steep improvement throughout their college careers, and it’s just the beginning.”
Although difficult conditions allowed only eight races to be run on the weekend, the Elis sent a third fleet to the Jesuit Open at Fordham University. Only two races were run on the first day, with the latter six completed on Sunday afternoon. Skipper Eric Anderson ’17 and crew Sanam Rastegar ’17 placed 13th in the A division while rookie skipper Katharina Knapp ’18 and Emily Johnson ’16 finished sixth in the B division.
Next weekend, Landy, along with Barrows and Marly Isler ’16 will again attempt to defend the Bulldogs’ title and take home the Larry White Trophy at the New England Sloop Championship. The two other skippers will have to bow to captain Barrows, as the three will grapple together in the 22-foot-long keeled boat in a round-robin tournament against seven other teams.
“Ian, Marly and me should have the potential to do very well at this regatta,” Landy said. “The top two from this event move on to the Match Race Nationals. I have done quite a bit of match racing [one-on-one racing] over the past few years. We placed second and fourth at the Match Race Nationals the past two years. Last summer I got to compete in the Youth Match Race Worlds, so this discipline of racing has really grown on me.”
The Elis also send contingents to the Moody Trophy at URI, the Storm Trysail at Larchmont and the Roger Williams Invitational at Roger Williams.