Continuing its recent run of dominance, Yale’s coed sailing team nabbed the top spot at this weekend’s Ivy League Championships, narrowly beating Harvard by five points to claim the victory.
The Ivy Champs, held at home, were a subset of the larger Owen, Mosbacher and Knapp Trophies – a two-conference regatta that saw Fordham sail to a first-place victory. While the Rams bested the Bulldogs in the overall competition, Fordham and Yale belong to different conferences, which allowed the Elis to come in first in the Ancient Eight championships.
“Consistency became increasingly important as we only sailed nine races due to heavy fog in the morning,” Kira Woods ’19 said. “We’re excited to be walking away as the Ivy Champions after this regatta, a title that our team has held each of my four years on the team.”
According to Claudia Loiacono ’21, who crewed the winning boat at the Ivy Championships, the Elis sat a comfortable 24 points above Harvard at the end of Saturday. But the Crimson surged back on the fog-filled Sunday to close the gap. Loiacono called the second day “dicey,” adding that while the team could clearly see pressure changes, it was difficult to pin down the strength and direction of the resultant shifts.
At the championship, Yale split into two teams. While Team 1 came in second with 83 points, Team 2 scored 172 points to finish lower on the leaderboard but still ahead of Ivy foes such as Cornell, Columbia and Princeton. While Team 1’s victory against Harvard proved to be a narrow one, the Bulldogs still came out five points ahead to clinch the championship for the eighth year in a row.
“I think the biggest contribution to our team’s win was our ability to start well,” said Louisa Nordstrom ’20, who skippered the winning boat. “A lot of races were really tricky because the fog created some weird wind patterns, but we were able to stay ahead of the fleet most of the time because we simply had superior starts and boat handling off the line.”
This season’s win mirrored last year’s Ivy championship, though the Elis’ 2018 victory was compounded with an overall win at the Owen, Mosbacher and Knapp Trophies. At the race a year ago, Fordham bounded to the top spot from ninth place, while the distance between Yale and Harvard shortened from 27 points to five.
While the Elis grabbed the 2019 Ivy Championship, two other squads of Bulldogs sailed at Connecticut College and at Tufts. At Connecticut College, the Elis earned a respectable sixth-place finish racing for the Thompson Trophy -— an interconference regatta on the Thames River. While the Bulldogs floundered to opponents like Harvard and Stanford, the latter of which took home the trophy, Yale came out ahead of conference opponents Dartmouth and Brown. The Elis also hopped two spots up from last year’s eighth-place showing at the same regatta. At Tufts, the Elis also earned fifth place at the Central Series 4.
This coming weekend, the Bulldogs will hit the waters for the Admiral’s Cup at King’s Point, the Boston Dinghy Cup at MIT and the Morris Trophy at Boston University. The female sailors will join the coed team at MIT at the same time as both squads vie for the Reed Trophy.
Valerie Pavilonis | firstname.lastname@example.org