The No. 1 Yale coed sailing team maintained its perch atop the Ivy League with a golden performance at the Ivy League Sailing Regatta Championship in a two-competition weekend this past Saturday and Sunday.
Some Bulldogs traveled to the Coast Guard Academy in New London to compete for the Thompson Trophy, winning the regatta by over 50 points. Meanwhile, the rest of the Eli squad stayed at home to host the Ivy League Championship, comprised of the Owen, Mosbacher and Knapp Trophies. Facing close competition, Yale came out on top by six points, closely followed by Brown.
“It was super competitive the whole time,” said skipper Mitchell Kiss ’17, of the Ivy League Sailing Regatta Championship. “Everyone was leading at some point. It’s exciting and fun to have a race that’s that close and that competitive.”
Kiss and crew Caroline Colwell ’18 came in second place in Division A, just two points behind the Bears. In Division B, however, skipper Casey Klingler ’18 and crews Natalya Doris ’17 and Chrissie Klingler ’20 took first place by an eight-point margin.
After recording the best finish of any Ivy League team at each of the past two regattas, Yale fought its way to the top of the podium at the Yale Corinthian Yacht Club, rebounding from its third-place finish in 2016 behind Hobart and William Smith and Fordham. The Bulldogs finished the regatta with 125 points, followed by Brown with 131 points. Harvard came in fifth place with 189 points, and Dartmouth, Penn and Cornell placed eighth, 11th and 15th, respectively, out of 18 competing teams.
Still, this year’s Ivy League Championship saw tighter competition than in the past, when the Bulldogs claimed four titles from 2011 to 2014. Yale edged out runner-up Brown by just six points on Sunday, compared to the 43-point difference in 2015 and 50-point difference in 2014.
“This was by far the most competitive college regatta in which I’ve sailed,” skipper Dylan DiMarchi ’20 said. “It was a great learning experience. It pointed out the weaknesses in my skills and my strategies. It revealed how skilled most of the sailors in the northeast really are. More than anything, it revealed the potential to improve.”
According to Doris, who captained the women’s sailing team last year, Yale relied on its consistency to weather the storm of tight competition, adding that the Elis achieved their goal with good starts and quickness to reposition after slow starts.
The Elis also faced troublesome weather conditions on the first day of racing. Due to a frustrating lack of wind, a total of just four races took place on Saturday, the latter two made possible only after the wind picked up to curtail a brief hiatus later in the afternoon. Sunday showed improved weather conditions, however, and a total of nine races were completed across the A and B divisions.
Yale’s found success in the team’s levelheadedness and good communication, according to Doris. Kiss added that the venue was also an advantage over the weekend, as the Bulldogs sailed on familiar home waters. According to DiMarchi, yet another Eli strength was the guidance from its senior class.
“Seeing the skillset of the upperclassmen was incredibly inspirational because that’s what everybody wants to accomplish,” said DiMarchi. “During every practice and every regatta, I can look up and see what they’re doing and first try to mimic it and then hopefully be able to come up with my own fleet of racing skills.”
The Eli contingent at the Thompson Trophy in New London made quick work of its competition in a dominant win. Yale’s A, B and C boats each won their respective divisions, compiling a team score of 190 that bested runner-up MIT and third-place College of Charleston by 65 and 66 points, respectively.
The Bulldogs are back on the road for the next two weekends as they compete at regattas that serve as qualifiers for Nationals, racing again this weekend for the Boston Dinghy Cup and Brown’s Morris Trophy.