Yale Athletics

Brushing aside its opposition, the Yale coed sailing team cruised to first place in the New England Team Race Championship this weekend to qualify for nationals in May, and the women’s team battled unusual wind conditions to capture third in the hotly contested Wick/Shrew competition at home.

The Elis reached peak form at just the right time and handily defeated second-place Roger Williams in the New England Team Race Championships, also known as the Fowle Trophy. In the Wick/Shrew, Yale showed great composure and consistency across both the A and B fleets to claim a respectable third-place finish. A second cohort of the coed team traveled to the Southern 5 hosted by Rhode Island, from which they returned with a fifth-place finish in a field of eight.

“It was actually the most calm regatta we’ve sailed,” said skipper Nic Baird ’19, who raced in the New England Team Race Championships. “We just did our jobs and came away with the win. … [Connecticut College] is one of the shiftiest venues in college sailing, and so sometimes even if you do everything right, you still lose races from crazy wind shifts.”

While the venue at Connecticut offered a number of wind shifts that caused delayed races and generally difficult conditions, the Elis topped the podium for the second time this season. The Bulldogs left with a 15–3 record a full two wins ahead of the Hawks, who went 13–5 and had troubled Yale all season.

The trio of skippers — Baird, Shawn Harvey ’21 and Malcolm Lamphere ’18 — and the cadre of crew, which included Sonia Lingos-Utley ’21, KB Knapp ’18 and Graceann Nicolosi ’20, demonstrated their quality by winning both head-to-head races with Roger Williams and third-place Dartmouth, who ended the weekend 11–7. All three have now qualified for nationals in May.

Although the weekend saw Yale hoist the Fowle Trophy for the third straight year, Baird was quick to note that the team has higher aspirations than conference championship.

“The victory means nothing more than we qualified for nationals, which means we have to keep working hard until May,” Baird said.

The fourth qualifying spot came down to head-to-head sail-offs between Harvard, Boston College and Connecticut College, who all sat with 10–8 records. Eventually, the Eagles soared above the competition to secure the final qualifying spot as the Crimson and the Camels succumbed to defeat.

The women’s team faced an uncooperative environment for Wick/Shrew, which Yale hosted. On the first day, the wind continually filled and died, and it was four hours before the first race could begin. In the Saturday race report, an official at the regatta wrote that a “sharp stick in the eye would have been more enjoyable than trying to run races this morning.”

However, before day’s end, both the A and B fleets enjoyed six races.

The stern, 15-knot winds from the south gave sisters Casey Klingler ’18 and Chrissie Klingler ’20 the opportunity to sail together in the A fleet with Cate Mollerus ’21, finishing third. Louisa Nordstrom ’20 and crews Caroline Colwell ’18 and Claire Huebner ’18 added a second-place finish in the B fleet to cap an excellent show of consistency in inconsistent conditions. Yale took the bronze overall but trailed winners College of Charleston by just 17 points.

“One of the biggest challenges of this regatta was sailing in combinations that we haven’t had much opportunity to practice, since a lot of the team was at the New England Team Race Championship,” Casey Klinger said. “Especially with the shifty conditions, this put a huge premium on good communication and making sure both people in the boat were on the same page.”

Getting some good racing in, skippers Martin Tipton ’21, Patrick Buehler ’18 and Emery Wallace ’21 combined with crews Nick Marwell ’21, Becca Rose ’21, Mina Cezairli ’21, Kathleen Wells ’21 and Kathryn Clulo ’21 to land in a respectable fifth place in the Southern 5 regatta.

With no women’s race scheduled for this weekend, the coed team has everyone available as it competes on four fronts this weekend at the Thompson Trophy, the Oberg Trophy, the President’s Trophy and the Owen, Mossenbacher and Knapp Trophies.

Caleb Rhodes | caleb.rhodes@yale.edu