A long and freezing winter in New Haven did not prevent the Yale coed and women’s sailing teams from reestablishing their dominance atop collegiate sailing. Both squads competed in several regattas over spring break and sailed to top finishes over other highly ranked teams, including Georgetown and St. Mary’s.
Katherine Gaumond ’15 noted that the Bulldogs were excited to get back on the water and prepare for championship events later in the season.
“The team was definitely happy with how we performed over break,” Gaumond said. “Especially after this winter, which kept the team from practicing until we traveled for our spring break trip, these early season events are really about shaking off rust from the off-season and looking for places to improve for the rest of the season as we look toward the championships.”
On March 7 and 8, the No. 1 nationally ranked coed team took on its first regatta of the season at the College of Charleston for the Bob Bavier Team Race. The Yale delegation, which consisted of skippers Graham Landy ’15, Ian Barrows ’17, Mitchell Kiss ’17 and Malcolm Lamphere ’18 and crews Charlotte Belling ’16, Meredith Megarry ’17, Clara Robertson ’17 and Gaumond, sailed to first place among a field of 10 teams. The sailors finished the regatta with a 12–2 record, their only two losses coming against Georgetown.
Kiss stated that the more experienced sailors helped lead the rest of the Elis to victory in their first competition of the spring season and that the results show promise for another successful season.
“It was great to have the returning sailors from our national championship team lead the rest of us. We have a great foundation to build on,” Kiss said. “There was some strong competition at this event that showed us our strengths and weaknesses, but overall we are in a great place.”
The next weekend, the women’s team travelled to Maryland for the Navy Women’s Interconference. Representing the Bulldogs were skippers Morgan Kiss ’15 and Marly Isler ’16, along with crews Natalya Doris ’17 and Emily Johnson ’16. In a competition beset both by low winds on Saturday and unusually high winds on Sunday, Yale placed fourth out of 20 teams, finishing just ahead of the United States Naval Academy.
Elsewhere in Maryland at the St. Mary’s Team Race, the coed team sailed to its second win of the season. The team, which included the same delegation from the Bob Bavier Team Race, along with Christopher Champa ’18, finished the two-day event with a 13–1 record, losing only to Boston College on Sunday.
Landy noted that the team did well in using the regattas this break to provide some of the younger members of the team with experience for higher-profile events later in the season.
“As an incredibly young team, I thought we sailed with a lot of poise at both events over spring break and avoided major errors that plague a lot of teams in the early events,” Landy said. “We did a great job getting some of the more inexperienced skippers and crews some action in the regattas, which should pay huge dividends in our performance later in the season.”
For its final stop of spring break, the women’s team headed to the St. Mary’s Inter-Conference where the Bulldogs finished second out of 18 teams. The delegation included Kiss and Doris sailing in the A division, where they finished second, and Gaumond and Casey Klinger ’18 sailing in the B division, where they finished third.
Meanwhile, two groups from the coed team competed in both the Southern New England Team Race and the Vietor Trophy. Even though the Bulldogs led the Southern New England regatta with the best record after Saturday, high winds led to the cancellation of racing on Sunday, and the Elis were not officially awarded the win. At the Vietor Trophy, racing was again canceled on the second day, yet the teams managed to get enough racing in on Saturday for Yale to officially claim fifth place out of 20 squads.
The coed team heads to the Friis Trophy and the J/70 Invite this weekend, while the women’s team is headed to the Joseph Duplin Trophy.