The Yale coed sailing team had a successful weekend.
The Bulldogs won the New England Match Race Championship at the New York Yacht Club. In addition, the Bulldogs placed third at the Moody Trophy, held at the University of Rhode Island, and eighth at the Roger Williams Invitational, also held in Rhode Island.
But the win was in no way guaranteed. The Bulldogs fell behind on the first day of the New England Championship, finishing last with a 1–6 record. Captain Graham Landy ’15 attributed the team’s poor performance to its minimal experience with Yngling boats, which handle differently than what the team is used to.
Skipper Ian Barrows ’17, Mary Isler ’16 and Landy were the only Elis to represent Yale in New York.
“Match racing in 21-foot Yngling class boats with three people tests a lot of skills that normal college sailing does not,” Landy said. “We were only able to practice five days in keelboats before this event, so Saturday presented many difficulties with teamwork, communication and our maneuvers.”
Barrows agreed and said that the team was struggling because it was the first regatta sailing together.
Despite Saturday’s setback, Landy said that the sailors felt they would be competitive the next day given their speed, tactics and improved boat handling. Indeed, the Bulldogs quickly found success on Sunday, winning their first race in the quarterfinals 2–1 against top seed Roger Williams. In the semifinals, Yale faced Tufts and had to win three out of five matches to advance. The Bulldogs started off strong with wins in the first two races, but losses in the third and fourth upset their momentum. In the fifth race, though, the Elis crossed the line first to advance to the finals against Boston College.
In the final race, Landy said that the sailors “finally hit [their] stride.” Yale defeated Boston College 2–0 and triumphed in the event for the third year in a row. The New England Championship win also qualified Yale for the ICSA Match Racing National Championship in November.
When asked about the team’s spectacular comeback on Sunday, Landy said that Yale did a great job playing to its strengths.
“We were one of the faster boats there, so we tried to simplify the races and let our speed work [to] our advantage,” Landy said.
Barrows added that the team’s success on the second day was attributed to better communication within the boat and quicker boat maneuver transitions.
Isler agreed with Barrows, saying that communication and positivity were the keys to the team’s success.
“Graham and Ian continued to stay positive throughout the weekend, and having that mindset going into the second day allowed us to make the gains we did,” Isler said.
At the same time, other sailors competed at both the Southern Series No. 5 at Roger Williams and the Moody Trophy. Notable performances at the Southern Series include Christopher Champa ’18 and Sanam Rastegar ’16 — who placed third in Division A — and Henry Lewis ’16 and Charles Skoda ’17, who placed 11th in Division B.
Yale’s third-place showing at the Moody Trophy, meanwhile, was largely due to the pair of Mitchell Kiss ’17 and Clara Robertson ’17, who won Division B.
Yale sailing next competes in the Navy Fall Invite at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis on Oct. 18.