October could not have ended much sweeter for the Yale sailing teams. The No. 2 coed and No. 1 women’s teams both won the New England Fall Championship this past weekend, securing their spots at the Atlantic Coast Championship in two weeks.
Despite facing unpredictable wind, the Eli coed team captured its first New England Fall Championship since 2012, winning the coed Schell Trophy. Entering the Victorian Coffee Urn with an even longer drought, the women’s team won by 16 points with its A Division team finishing in the top four in nine of 12 races.
Still, the team was critical of its performance.
“We performed remarkably this weekend as an entire team, both women’s and coed, but it’s hard to say that knowing we made many mistakes,” skipper Nic Baird ’19 said. “The amazing thing is that we can make mistakes, as a team, and still come out on top at a regatta. I think it goes to show how competitive our practices are and how much every person on our team matters so much.”
The coed team dominated on their way to winning the Schell Trophy at the Coast Guard Academy. The champion Bulldogs finished with 106 points, 30 less than MIT, which finished second. Yale won both the A and B Divisions decisively, with none of the 17 other teams coming within five points of the Elis in either division.
Yale relied on its seniors in the victory, as skipper Ian Barrows ’17 and crew Meredith Megarry ’17 sailed in the A Division and won by 11 points. Baird and crew Clara Robertson ’17 performed nearly as well in the B Division, scoring 59 points and winning two of 11 races.
The women’s team had a more competitive regatta, but still finished 16 points clear of its nearest opponent. The A Division pairing of skipper Casey Klingler ’18 and crew Natalya Doris ’17 won two of the 12 races and finished in the top four in seven others. Klingler and Doris finished with just 43 points. Second-place Rhode Island finished with 56 points.
Skipper Louisa Nordstrom ’20 and crew Isabelle Rossi de Leon ’17 finished fifth of 15 teams in the B Division.
“The team was really quick to adapt to the difficult conditions and performed exceptionally well,” Nordstrom said. “The wind was coming across the river in such a way that it was extremely shifty and puffy. Everything was changing all the time and there was little consistency in the racecourse.”
In other weekend action, Yale’s freshmen took second at the New England Freshman Championships. The regatta was shortened to just eight races because of a lack of wind over Mystic Lake.
The class of 2020 showed its versatility at the event held at Tufts University by switching up skipper and crew pairings. On Saturday, crew Julia Greenberg ’20 sailed with skipper Dylan DiMarchi ’20 and crew Graceann Nicolosi ’20 sailed with skipper Chrissie Klingler ’20. The two crews switched places on Sunday with Nicolosi and DiMarchi sailing in the A division and Greenberg and Klingler sailing in the B division. Klingler said the change was made to allow the skippers to have more time with the two crews.
“Our class has been really close from the first week of us being here,” Klingler said. “We are all really good friends and we work together to make our sailing better instead of competing against each other.”
The Elis have just two more weekends remaining in their 2016 schedule. Members of the team will travel to Galveston, Texas. for the ICSA Singlehanded National Championships next weekend. Baird and Malcolm Lamphere ’18 will represent the Bulldogs in the men’s competition while Nordstrom will sail for the women.
But all eyes remain focused on the Nov. 12 and 13 Atlantic Coast Championship, as the victories this past weekend qualified the team for their biggest fall regatta.
“I’m excited [for the Atlantic Coast Championship], we get to sail for one more weekend,” Baird said. “It’s great for us, the ACCs are always the most competitive regatta of the fall season, and we’re looking forward to seeing how what we’ve worked on all fall will pay off.”
MIT will host the coed races while the women’s regatta will take place at the College of Charleston.