The coed and women’s sailing teams, each ranked No. 2 in the country, competed in separate states this past weekend. In Rhode Island, the coed team tracked the wind to a sixth-place finish at the Moody Trophy and an eighth-place finish at the Southern Series, while the women traveled to Maryland and finished fourth at the Navy Women’s Intersectional Regatta.
A year ago, the coed team finished in third at the Moody while earning an eighth-place result — identical to this year’s finish — at the Southern Series. Meanwhile, the women’s team improved significantly after competing in the same event a year ago, as the Bulldogs finished 12th at last year’s Navy-hosted regatta and fourth in this year’s. Members across both teams expressed satisfaction with the results, noting that the fall has been a successful season thus far.
“The team is very pleased with the result as we have been with nearly all of our finishes so far this year,” coed skipper Nicholas Baird ’19 said. “That’s what’s important to us: having the fundamentals down to second nature.”
At the Moody Trophy, hosted by the University of Rhode Island, the Elis finished just one point behind the tiebreak-separated fourth- and fifth-place finishers Boston University and URI, respectively. Harvard, Roger Williams and St. Mary’s earned the top three spots.
Skipper Malcolm Lamphere ’18 and partner Chandler Gregoire ’17 guided their boat in the A division at the Moody. They sailed to a seventh-place finish, including a win in the seventh and final race of the weekend.
In the B division, the trio of Baird and crew Emily Johnson ’16 and Amelia Dobronyi ’17 was disqualified from one of its seven races but still managed to finish third overall in the 18-school race.
Yale kept overlapping with a boat that it was side-by-side with, and the Elis were eventually disqualified for not giving the other boat enough room. Baird said the disqualification was especially unfortunate because it could have been avoided.
“I was already taking a risk by being overlapped with the other boat approaching the windward mark where there are lots of starboard boats that we both must avoid,” Baird said. “I could have approached the mark in a different way that would have been less risky, but would have put me a few places behind where I was. I also could have taken a penalty while on the water that would have exonerated the foul.”
In the end, Baird decided against taking the penalty because he did not believe he was at fault.
The disqualification proved to be especially costly; if the Elis had not been disqualified in that race, Baird and his crew would have finished second in their division, and the team overall would have finished higher as well.
In the end, Baird said, he learned a valuable lesson and left the competition with a positive takeaway.
“Whether I was right or wrong doesn’t really matter,” Baird said. “What matters is I learned what risks to take and not to take and how they could affect the regatta significantly not only for me but for my whole team.”
Over at the Southern Series, the other coed squad competing earned an eighth-place result. Skipper KB Knapp ’18 and crew Kira Woods ’19 claimed second in the A division. Skipper Charles Skoda ’17, joined by the young and relatively inexperienced crew of Ayla Besemer ’19 and Claire Rossi de Leon ’19, sailed to a 12th-place finish.
Following only Besemer’s third collegiate regatta, she said that getting up to the speed of her older teammates has been intense, but she has learned immense amounts as a result of the process.
“My skipper and I are both fairly new to this level of competition, and the learning curve is intense, but every race gives us more to build on,” Besemer said. “I certainly felt stronger and more comfortable than I did even one regatta ago, and I learned a lot from the experience … it was a successful weekend of sailing, and I look forward to continuing improvement.”
Meanwhile, the women’s team found itself in Maryland competing at the Navy Women’s Intersectional Regatta, claiming a fourth-place result.
Skipper Casey Klingler ’18 sailed with crew Isabelle Rossi de Leon ’17 and placed third in the A division to lead the Elis.
“We were a little bummed about dropping from second to fourth on day two, but we sailed well in the challenging conditions and felt good about how we finished,” Rossi de Leon said. “I’m so proud of the team and [I’m] thrilled to compete at home this weekend.”
Klingler and Rossi de Leon emerged victorious in two of the event’s 10 races and demonstrated consistency all weekend long. At the 15-school regatta, the duo earned eight top-six finishes, tied with regatta-winner Georgetown for the most.
Skipper Mary Isler ’16 and Natalya Doris ’17 sailed in the B division, battling Stanford all weekend for the top seed. At the end of the weekend, the duo ended up in a tie for the top spot and landed in second on the wrong side of the tiebreaker.
Rounding out the women’s performance was Claire Huebner ’18, who sailed in the laser, or singlehanded boat, and claimed the ninth-place finish in the solo division.
The coed team competes next at the New England Sloop Championship — the qualifier for the 2015 Match Race Nationals. The women compete next at home in the Yale Women’s Intersectional Regatta.