Courtesy of Chad Lyons
Both the women’s and coed sailing teams finished their regular fall seasons this past weekend, with the coed team clinching gold in the 78th edition of the Professor Schell Trophy and the women’s team placing third in the Victorian Urn Trophy. The regattas traditionally serve as the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association fall conference championships.
Last weekend, the coed team won the Professor Schell Trophy, hosted by Dartmouth. Yale placed third at last year’s event but was able to dethrone 2017 champion MIT to take the title. The competitors faced dismal weather, including rain, hail, sleet and snow. These stormy conditions were tricky to navigate, bringing wind shifts of up to 50 degrees along with massive velocity differences. Nevertheless, the Elis were able to clinch the championship with strong performances in both divisions, beating out 17 other teams.
“We just did our best to keep our boats moving all the time during the changes,” captain Nick Hernandez ’19 said. “This mitigated risk as much as possible. There were other teams taking massive risks, which sometimes paid off, but in the end our consistency and risk management sealed the deal.”
Hernandez skippered with crew Catherine Webb ’22 in the B division of the regatta and captured first in their division with 70 points. Harvard led the B division for the majority of the regatta, but the Yale pair seized the opportunity to take the lead when the Crimson faltered near the end of the regatta. Skipper Nic Baird ’19 along with crews Sonia Lingos-Utley ’21 and Graceann Nicolosi ’20 placed third in the A division with 77 points. The sum of these two scores was low enough for the Bulldogs to edge out Dartmouth and Harvard for the gold.
Over the weekend, the Elis also dispersed to Tufts for the Nickerson Trophy, commonly referred to as the First-Year Championship. Overall, Yale finished fifth in a field of 17 after winning a tiebreaker against Harvard. Similar to the conference championships, the Nickerson was also beset by wintry weather conditions, including gusts of more than 20 knots. Skipper Sam Tobin ’22 and crew Meredith Ryan ’22 represented Yale in the A division, coming in eighth with 71 points. Meanwhile, skipper Christophe Chaumont ’22 and crew Anisha Arcot ’22 placed fourth within the B division with 58 points. Over the two days of the nine-race regatta, Chaumont and Arcot captured three top-three finishes.
Finally, the coed team also hosted the Dave Perry Trophy, a team race regatta. In team racing, multiple boats from two teams go head to head, with each team’s score the numerical sum of the placements of all boats from the team. With a 3-4 win-loss record, Yale finished third in a field that also included Brown, University of Rhode Island and two teams from Tufts. The Bulldog contingent consisted of skippers Nicholas Marwell ’21, Dylan DiMarchi ’20 and Martin Tipton ’21, sailing with crews Helena Ware ’22, Becca Rose ’21 and Alexandra Contomichalos ’22.
The women’s team was also unable to escape the cold and rainy weather that battered New England this weekend as they travelled to Bowdoin for the NEISA women’s championship, the Victorian Urn Trophy. The defending champions from last year, the Elis ultimately finished third out of 16 with 149 points, overtaken by Brown and Boston College.
“We really had to push through the cold and the rain this weekend, but we managed to stay focused on the racing really nicely,” Cate Mollerus ’21 said. “It was a great opportunity to show off the work we’ve done all season in practice with our starts and boat speed. Overall it was a really great weekend because all the teams were performing at their best.”
Both divisions of the 14-race regatta featured skilled Bulldog sailors, with skipper Chrissie Klingler ’20 along with crews Mollerus and captain Kira Woods ’19 — last week’s NEISA sailors of the week — representing Yale in the B division. The three finished fourth in the B division with 77 points. In the A division, skipper Louisa Nordstrom ’20 sailed alternately with crews Claudia Loiacono ’21 and Katie Clulo ’21, finishing third within their division with 72 points.
The Elis in both divisions got off to slow starts and steadily improved throughout the competition. In the A division, Nordstrom and Loiacono finished the fourth race in 14th place, while their median placement in the other 13 races was 4th. Klingler and Mollerus suffered an on-course-side penalty — indicating that they began the race prematurely or otherwise inappropriately — in the fifth race, for which they received 17 points. Still, Yale was able to recover from these hiccups by the end of the regatta.
“It was a little brutal to have the last event of the season in Maine,” said Klingler. “It rained and sleeted all day Saturday and was pretty cold both days. That said, it was still a beautiful place to sail, and the wind on Saturday especially was great. In terms of how things went, I sailed a solid regatta, but made a few too many mistakes to take it home. I’m looking forward to getting a few more weeks of practice this fall and then competing again this spring.”
Although both the women’s and coed teams have finished their regular seasons, they will not pack away their boats for another few weeks. Next weekend, Yale sailing alumni will return for a special themed scrimmage hosted by the women’s team. At the same time, two Yale sailors will travel to the national championships for singlehanded sailing. The rest of the team will begin to practice team racing, the style of sailing contested in the spring.
Raymond Gao | firstname.lastname@example.org