While snow and high winds challenged sailors in New England this weekend, the Yale coed and women’s sailing teams managed to finish all four regattas, with two top-three finishes highlighting the Bulldogs’ two days of competition.
Members of the No. 2 coed team defended Yale’s title at the Lynne Marchiando Trophy in Boston — finishing the event with a perfect 13–0 record — during the team’s last weekend of competition before the New England Team Race Championship this Saturday. Meanwhile, the No. 2 women’s team posted a third-place performance at the Dellenbaugh Women’s Trophy, hosted by Brown, and other groups from the coed team claimed fourth and ninth at the Camel Team Race regatta and Central Series 3, respectively.
New official rankings posted on April 1, the first since November 2015, show the women’s team having risen one place nationally, now second only to Rhode Island, while the coed team has dropped to second behind Georgetown.
“I think we have all been doing very well,” coed captain Mitchell Kiss ’17 said. “We have been switching the sailors around a lot to get a variety of experiences … We are feeling confident for this upcoming weekend, but anything can happen so we will need to stay focused on one race at a time.”
The coed team’s perfect showing at the Marchiando Trophy, a team racing event, marked the Bulldogs’ strongest performance of the weekend. Yale took the first-place spot in all but one of the 13 team race combinations, which included two 1–2–3 finishes. Gale-force winds and snowstorms predicted in Boston on Sunday meant that all racing had to occur on Saturday, with 91 races finished before 4:30 p.m.
The performance gave the Yale coed team its second first-place result of the spring season heading into the New England Team Race Championship, which qualifies the top four coed teams from New England for the national championship.
“It’s awesome to see everyone on the team asking lots of questions and being focused on each race, whether they are sailing or spectating,” Kiss said.
The women’s team took home the other top-three finish for Yale over the weekend, claiming third at the Dellenbaugh Trophy and resuming its normal season of fleet racing after a team race regatta last weekend. Unlike the coed team, the women’s team continued competition in Rhode Island on Sunday, completing only three races due to high winds after finishing seven on Saturday.
Casey Klingler ’18 skippered in A division with crews Emily Johnson ’16 and Claire Huebner ’18, placing first in the division after finishing four of the five races in the top three.
In B division, Marly Isler ’16 skippered with crews Kira Woods ’19 and Johnson and sailed into 11th out of the 18 teams competing. The Bulldogs’ A and B division scores summed to 63 points, 19 points behind No. 1 Rhode Island and four behind No. 6 Stanford.
“We’re feeling good going into [qualifiers],” Klingler said. “This weekend, what I was thinking about was minimizing big mistakes, and that’s what we’ve been trying to do as a team — focusing on getting off the line and doing everything big picture correctly. Going into nationals [on May 26–27], we’re getting the basics down and focusing on starts and boat-handling so that’s not something we have to worry about at nationals or even qualifiers [on April 23–24].”
A group from the coed team also competed at the Camel Team Race at Connecticut College. After six races, the Elis landed in a three-way tie for second, forcing a team race tiebreaker with Connecticut College and Roger Williams. The Bulldogs battled it out for second but wound up finishing fourth with a score of 24 points in the tiebreaker.
Yale, which finished its six races with a 4–2 record, would have finished 5–1, ahead of Connecticut College and Roger Williams, had it not been for a protested race when St. Mary’s and Yale met in the round robin. St. Mary’s — which went on to win the regatta with no losses — protested Yale skipper Eric Anderson ’16 for drifting into a downwind boat that had the right of way.
Despite the Bulldogs’ 1–3–5 finish — which would have been a winning combination, making it St. Mary’s only loss of the regatta — St. Mary’s won the protest, resulting in a disqualifying loss for Yale in the matchup.
The coed Elis also travelled to the Central Series 3 regatta, a fleet race hosted by Harvard in which Yale placed ninth. Charles Skoda ’17 and Claire Rossi de Leon ’19 sailed into eighth in A division with 57 points. Patrick Buehler ’18 skippered B division with crew Elizabeth Tokarz ’17, finishing eighth with 42 points in both sailors’ spring season debut.
While both duos placed eighth in their respective divisions, the cumulative score of 99 put Yale in ninth for the regatta, behind Harvard’s 91 points.
Next weekend, the New England Team Race Championship will take place at Coast Guard. For fleet racing, the coed team has another month of practice before qualifiers on May 1, while the women’s team has three weekends of competition before its at-home qualifiers on April 23, but will be competing each weekend in the meantime.
“Overall, we have done so much better,” said Nicholas Baird ’19, who skippered eight of Yale’s 13 races at the Marchiando. “It is not always how good you are, but how quickly you get better in comparison to the other teams, and we’ve gotten a lot better … We’re allowed to feel pretty confident knowing our results against other teams recently, but Yale generally does poorly at qualifiers, and it’s a really shifty venue, so anything can happen.”