With their fall seasons approaching the finish line, the Yale sailing teams took to the seas in four regattas across New England this past weekend.
Members of the coed squad turned in two top-five finishes in Rhode Island, while a third coed group and sailors from the women’s team finished 10th and eighth, respectively, in events held on the Charles River in Massachusetts. While Yale met particularly tricky conditions such as heavy winds and even snow during the previous weekend, the teams had to tackle the opposite extreme this time around: Unusually light breezes forced the cancellation of multiple races at each location.
A high point of the weekend for the Elis came on the Providence River, where a sextet of Bulldogs from the No. 1 coed team took second place in the 18-school Sherman Hoyt Trophy. Due to uncooperative conditions, only 10 total races were run during the entire event, while last year’s event included 10 races apiece in the A and B divisions.
“It was really just a day of sailing, which was unfortunate because we really just did half of what we usually do, if not less than that,” captain and crew Charlotte Belling ’16 said. “But the results at the Hoyt were very exciting.”
The A-division duo of skipper Ian Barrows ’17 and crew Amelia Dobronyi ’17 captured first place in the only two races on Saturday. Skipper Mitchell Kiss ’17 and crew Clara Robertson ’17, who took over Yale’s A boat for the division’s three Sunday races, were unable to match the unblemished performance of their teammates from the prior day. After fourth, ninth and 12th place performances on Sunday, the combined work from the four Elis resulted in a third-place overall finish for Yale in the A division.
Skipper Nic Baird ’19, along with captain and crew Charlotte Belling ’16, posted consistent results across the B division’s five races, never finishing lower than seventh. In the last race at the Brown-hosted event, however, MIT’s B boat finished one spot ahead of Baird and Belling, giving the Engineers an overall one-point margin of victory over the Bulldogs at the Edgewood Yacht Club.
“[Sunday] was a particularly light and shifty day, which simulates the type of conditions you’d get in places like the Charles River,” Belling said. “So I wasn’t overly surprised that MIT ended up on top.”
Another coed group faced the challenge of competing in a condensed regatta at the Roger Williams’ Southern Series 7. Conditions on Saturday forced the one-day regatta to be shortened significantly. As just nine schools participated in the regatta, the decision was made to score all 18 boats as one fleet.
Skipper Claire Huebner ’18 and crew Claire Rossi de Leon ’19 finished in third, while skipper Charles Skoda ’17, along with crew Ayla Besemer ’19, placed 12th. Together, their scores combined to give Yale a third-place overall finish in Bristol, Rhode Island, behind winner Tufts and runner-up Roger Williams.
At the same time that races were being nixed in Rhode Island, entire days of sailing were called off for the Bulldogs in Massachusetts. Whereas the Elis who sailed at MIT’s Oberg Trophy in 2014 competed in 51 races over two days, the coed group that made the trek to Cambridge this year participated in just 21 — seven in each division, all on Sunday.
Dobronyi travelled north from Providence, joining skipper Malcolm Lamphere ’18 in Yale’s A boat on the Charles. Boosted by six top-10 finishes, the pair captured seventh in its division.
Not to be outdone, the Bulldogs’ all-freshman Oberg B boat bested its A-division counterpart. Skipper Nick Hernandez ’19 and crew Kira Woods ’19 placed fifth in the B division and would have finished higher if not for a disqualification in the pair’s final race of the event.
“It was our first weekend sailing together, and as both of us are freshmen, we were one of the youngest boats out on the water amongst a competitive fleet,” Woods said. “We were sailing two types of boats that we were unfamiliar with, so the fact that we managed to figure them out while racing was nice.”
Skoda, who also came up for the event from Rhode Island, raced alongside crew Caroline Colwell ’18 in his first event on the notoriously unpredictable Charles. The duo’s 14th-place finish in the C division sealed Yale’s top-10 overall result in the event, which was won by the hosting Engineers.
The women’s team also had to overcome one of those lost days at Harvard’s Mrs. Hurst Bowl, where Saturday’s races were ultimately scrapped after being postponed until the early afternoon. Skipper Marly Isler ’16 noted the challenges that the atypical circumstances presented for the Elis, particularly as they related to the regatta’s location.
“At a place like the Charles, [losing a day] makes it a little tough mentally to go into the second day,” Isler said. “[It’s] a venue that’s really shifty … It makes it a lot tougher when you only have a few races, because then you have to really, really work hard to stay up in the front pack for those.”
The Elis found mixed results in the 17-school event, which was won handily by Coast Guard for the second year in a row — so handily, in fact, that the Bears’ 31-point lead in the final standings over second-place Tufts was larger than Tufts’ margin over eighth-place Yale.
The Bulldogs’ A boat of skipper Casey Klingler ’18 and crew Isabelle Rossi de Leon ’17 finished eighth in its division. The pair finished the event on a strong note, finishing in the top half in four out of its final five races after accomplishing that task only twice in its first pentad. Isler and crew Natalya Doris ’17, in an up-and-down regatta highlighted by a victory in the division’s seventh race, placed seventh in the B division.
Both skippers will get another crack at the Charles, as a similar quartet will return to Cambridge to compete in this weekend’s Victorian Coffee Urn. The Urn acts as the qualifier for the Women’s Atlantic Coast Championships, which will be hosted by St. Mary’s College of Maryland in November.
“We kind of looked at [the Hurst Bowl] as practice for next weekend,” Isler said. “So hopefully we can take a lot of the things we learned into consideration for that.”
Meanwhile, the members of the coed team will be battling in MIT’s Erwin Schell trophy for a berth in their own Atlantic Coast Championships. Some of the team’s freshmen will join them in Massachusetts, where they will compete for the Freshman Championship Regatta, hosted by Tufts at Mystic Lake. Another coed group will stay in state to take part in the Dave Perry Trophy, which will be hosted by Coast Guard.