The Yale coed and women’s sailing teams saw mixed results this weekend as they concluded their regular seasons.
The coed squad sent representatives to three regattas held across the Northeast. The No. 2 Bulldogs fared unfavorably at the Oberg Trophy, finishing the regatta in 14th place among 18 teams. The team’s disappointing results at the Oberg Trophy did not sour the weekend, however, as the Elis claimed second place at the Sherman Hoyt Trophy. At the Hinman Trophy, which serves as both the open U.S. Team Racing Championship and the qualifier for the World Team Racing Championship, the Bulldogs finished in sixth place.
Meanwhile, the No. 1-ranked women’s team finished fifth of 16 teams at Dartmouth’s Mrs. Hurst Bowl. Stretched thin across four regattas, the Bulldogs relied on their younger sailors throughout the weekend.
“The underclassmen have been critical to our continued growth this fall,” coed captain and skipper Malcolm Lamphere ’18 said. “Their positive attitudes and solid work ethic has helped keep practice productive. With some of the older sailors taking time off college sailing for outside competitions, they have taken full advantage of great opportunities by stepping up and showing their potential at top-level events.”
The coed team faced unfavorable weather conditions throughout the weekend. At the three-division Oberg Trophy hosted by Northeastern University, a frustrating lack of wind led to postponements at the start of both days of racing. The Bulldogs concluded the windless regatta in 14th place with 352 points, a decline from last fall’s third-place finish. Dartmouth claimed the prize with 145 points.
Five of Yale’s six sailors at the Oberg Trophy were first years. All three crews at the regatta were rookies who have had to fill the shoes of graduated All-Americans since arriving on campus.
“A lot of [the first years] have even been in pretty important roles,” skipper Nic Baird ’19 said. “The crews of the class are tasked with replacing three All-Americans from the four starting crews we lost last year. They’ve seriously stepped up.”
Though lack of wind caused a brief delay on the second day of the Hoyt Trophy as well, the rest of the regatta featured acceptable weather conditions for sailing. The team’s runner-up finish at the Hoyt Trophy, hosted by Brown, marks an improvement from last fall’s fourth-place result, and Yale concluded the weekend just 10 points behind first-place winner, the College of Charleston.
At the Hinman Regatta, the Bulldogs suffered from early mistakes before sailing the last two days of racing without a blemish. However, the team still battled against 13 highly skilled and awarded teams to claim its sixth-place finish. Baird said that having sailors at the event, which was organized by U.S. Sailing, showed the respect given to Yale’s program both inside and outside of collegiate sailing.
Competing at Mascoma Lake in New Hampshire, the women’s team saw little time on the water this weekend. Light wind limited the Mrs. Hurst Bowl to just five races, meaning that each point significantly affected the overall scores.
“When it came to the actual racing there was just very little room for mistakes,” skipper Louisa Nordstrom ’20 said. “Of the five races, I would say we did a good job recognizing where the pressure was on the course and also making big moves on the downwind in order to pass people. As for improvement, I would say we struggled coming back after falling behind and needed to stay on the lifted tack despite the boats around us.”
The Coast Guard Academy and host Dartmouth both finished with 57 points, with the Coast Guard winning the regatta on the tiebreaker. Trailing both teams and Brown, Yale and Boston College both finished six points behind the leaders, but the Eagles took the tiebreaker, relegating the Bulldogs to fifth place.
Both Yale teams return to the water for their conference championships next weekend. The coed team captured its first New England Fall Championship since 2012 at last year’s Erwin Schell Trophy. The women’s team won the Victorian Urn Trophy last fall to secure the conference championship as well.
The 2017 edition of both regattas will take place next Saturday and Sunday.
Selena Cho | firstname.lastname@example.org