The Yale sailing teams continued navigating a consistent course of excellence this weekend with another set of very successful performances on the water. The Bulldogs sailed onto the podium in all four of their separate regattas this week, garnering a hat trick of wins as a team as well as a third-place finish.
Six Yale sailors from the coed team combined to cruise to a dominating victory in the Hatch-Brown Trophy at MIT, while five more Elis pulled out a narrow seven-point victory over Tufts at the Nevins Trophy in Kings Point, New York. Another coed Bulldog team sped to a convincing win at the Central Series at Boston College, and the lone women’s regatta, the Stu Nelson Trophy at Connecticut College, resulted in a bronze for the Bulldogs.
None of Yale’s four regattas this weekend served as qualifiers for the national championships, but they count for scheduling points, which allow teams to garner invitations to higher-quality regattas. Based on the Elis’ performance over the weekend and that of the past few years, those invites will likely not be a problem for Yale.
“We were able to compete at close to our potential at many of the events,” head coach Zachary Leonard said. “I’m looking forward to working over the course of the year to raise the potential further. Everyone has been working hard at practice and having fun and that is what we are hoping for at this time of year.”
The two-person crews at MIT’s Hatch-Brown Trophy sailed in two different types of boat, the Flying Junior and the Firefly. The Flying Junior is one of the two most prevalent boats in American collegiate racing, but the Firefly only ever appears at MIT regattas, making it the ultimate guest star of the college racing scene.
The Bulldogs, led by the A division pair of Ian Barrows ’17 and Meredith Megarry ’17, dominated the field of 19 schools. Their 325 total points from the 51 total races, 17 in each of the three divisions, blew second-placed Dartmouth’s 363 out of the water, with the rest of the pack further behind. Host MIT finished in fourth, 97 points behind Yale.
“We have sailed really well as a team,” skipper Nic Baird ’19 said. “We normally have this feeling of trust that you can make a mistake or two and still trust that the team is going to stay strong and consistent. Where we sailed on the Charles is really shifty and every race is super different … We just sailed conservatively and let the others make mistakes.”
Yale also secured an impressive victory at the Nevins Trophy, which is raced at the US Merchant Marine Academy in New York. This regatta proves the true extent of a team’s versatility, as fleets are required to race with three different boats over the course of the weekend. The A and B divisions raced one day in each of the two major collegiate boats, the Flying Junior and the Z-420, while the C division uses the Laser, an uncommon single-person boat.
The Bulldogs defeated Tufts by seven points, and Georgetown, which pipped the Bulldogs to one of the national championships a year ago, took third. The biggest contributors to the Yale victory were skipper Nick Hernandez ’19 and crew Caroline Colwell ’18, who chalked up a 12-point margin of victory in the B division race.
“The keys to success were being consistent in the shifty breeze by being conservative on the starting line and executing the high-percentage moves on the race course,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez added that with strong winds throughout the day, judging the weather properly played an important role in the team’s success.
The only women’s regatta of the weekend was the Stu Nelson Trophy, which is raced in only two divisions, both of which use the Flying Junior.
Yale finished in third place, right on the heels, or more appropriately keels, of Brown and Boston College. The Elis received a strong second place showing in the A division from skipper Louisa Nordstrom ’20, competing in her second collegiate regatta, as well as veteran crews Isabelle Rossi de Leon ’17 and Claire Huebner ’18. Skipper KB Knapp ’18 and crew Kira Woods ’19 also contributed a third-place finish in the B division for the Bulldogs.
The Elis also sped to a convincing win in the Central Series, which unlike the other regattas was an in-conference race, meaning only teams from the Northeast are allowed to enter. In the two-division race, Yale snuck under 100 points with a scintillating score of 97, 33 points ahead of second-place Brown.
The Bulldogs were paced by two first-place finishes. Skipper Dylan DiMarchi ’20 and crew Amelia Dobronyi ’17 coasted to victory in the A division, and Chrissie Klingler ’20 and Elizabeth Tokarz ’17 matched this victory in the B division.
With sailors continuing to move between boats and adjust to new partners early in the fall, Huebner credited the Elis’ teamwork in playing a large role in their success.
“In sailing, two people race in one boat. Each person has a different style of boat handling, different ways they like to talk to their partner about races and different strategies to get up the course as quickly as possible,” Huebner said. “I think everyone on our team does an incredible job of being able to adjust to whoever they are put in a boat with, whether it is their first time sailing together or their 100th.”
Next week, the Bulldogs have six regattas on the docket, including the Men’s and Women’s Singlehanded Championships. Nordstorm will sail for the women, while Malcolm Lamphere ’18 — the defending national champion — Barrows and Baird will sail for the men.