Overcoming varying wind conditions across the weekend, the Yale sailing teams continued their strong performances on the water. The No. 4 women’s team provided the highlight of the weekend, winning its regatta for the third consecutive week. In addition, the No. 1 coed team snuck on the podium with a bronze in the Moody Trophy at Rhode Island but fell to seventh place on home waters in the Southern Series.
“The team did a great job of maintaining a consistent level of performance regardless of wind strength,” skipper Nick Hernandez ’19 said. “Our resilience and ability to work together allowed us to face a challenging series of unexpected obstacles this weekend.”
Coming off two consecutive regatta wins, the Yale women’s team entered the Fall Interconference hosted by the Naval Academy on a roll. The Bulldogs continued their winning ways with a tight four-point victory over a competitive Brown fleet that fell just short. On two days with polar opposite wind speeds, a tranquil Saturday and a gusty Sunday, and across three divisions, including a singlehanded competition, the Elis proved their mettle.
The Bulldogs faced an early obstacle in the singlehanded division, as expected starter Claire Huebner ’18 broke her hand rigging before the race. With Yale cut adrift in the singlehanded division, Chrissie Klingler ’20 stepped up. With no prior experience in the Laser, the boat used in singlehanded competition, Klingler rose to the challenge, ending up in sixth with 88 points, an extraordinary performance considering the circumstances. Brown’s Lindsey Baab cleaned up in the singlehanded division: her winning total of 36 points outpaced the nearest sailor by a whopping 31 points.
“I hadn’t practiced in the Laser at all the week beforehand, or really ever before this regatta,” Klingler said. “The boat handling is extremely different in a Laser in comparison to the 420, which is what I’m used to sailing, so I struggled in the first few races on Saturday … My goal was basically to do well enough that we could win overall, since our other two boats were both doing very well in their divisions.”
The Elis also put in two superb shifts in the doublehanded divisions, providing the impetus for their victory. Skipper Casey Klingler ’18 and crews Natalya Doris ’17 and Huebner cruised to a 14–point victory over Georgetown in the A division.
The boat in the B division, comprised of skipper Louisa Nordstrom ’20 and crews Isabelle Rossi de Leon ’17 and Doris put up 39 points. That total allowed them to sweep to a convincing 18–point margin of victory. When all the scores were totaled across every division, the strong Yale team performance just edged out Brown for first place.
“The team did a great job adjusting to the circumstances and the different sailing conditions on Saturday and Sunday,” Nordstrom said. “The win is definitely a confidence booster and we’re all looking forward to the upcoming regattas.”
The Eli coed team missed many of their veteran sailors, who had the weekend off, but still sailed competitively in their two regattas. The Moody Trophy differs from most races because the University of Rhode Island only has one fleet of boats, which decreases the number of races: Each set of Yale sailors only reached the water six times, compared to the fifteen times the Eli team sailed last week at the Danmark Trophy.
The Bulldog boats started to hit their stride in the second half of the regatta, with each of their boats in the A and B divisions winning two of the final three races. However, due to the diminished number of races, they had no further opportunities to recover from a rough start.
Skipper Nic Baird ’19 and crew Graceann Nicolosi ’20 scored 39 points to finish tied for third with Tufts in the A division. This division was tightly packed, with just eight points separating second-place St. Mary’s from ninth-place Bowdoin. Hernandez and crew Chandler Gregoire ’17 scored 26 points for a silver finish in the B division, nine behind the Polar Bears in first. Boston University won both the A division and the regatta overall.
“The regatta we sailed last weekend was unusual because we had so few races,” Baird said. “BU tends to sail a bit riskier than we do [and] that can pay off sometimes when there aren’t many races in a regatta.”
The third Bulldog event of the weekend took place on home waters at the Yale-Corinthian Yacht Club in nearby Branford. Brown started strong, overtaking Tufts during the third race, and never looked back. The Bears’ golden tally was 83 points, six ahead of second-place Connecticut College, who edged the Jumbos on a tiebreaker. The Yale contingent finished a distant seventh, with 189 points. The low number of teams in this regatta, just nine, meant that the A and B divisions race together and their scores are combined.
Despite the relatively tough weekend by their high standards, the Bulldogs remain unfazed.
“We’ve rarely changed the way we practice based on results,” Baird said. “We’ll be doing the same things during practice as we have been, though we are getting close to the fall championships, so we might start focusing on some more advanced skills instead of building up the core ones.”