Rob Migliaccio

While other Yalies begin to travel the globe for the summer, Yale’s sailors dominated their opponents at this weekend’s national championships, with the coed team snapping up first place and the women finishing in a respectable third.

The women’s podium finish at the Sperry Women’s National Championship effectively closes out the Elis’ season. After securing the Laserperformance Team Race National Championship, the coed team still faces the ICSA Coed Eastern Semifinals and ICSA Coed Nationals later this week. As of May 27, both teams have competed in 32 total regattas in their Spring season, earning first-place titles in nearly half of those races despite recurring trends of shifty winds and unforgiving conditions.

“We’ve worked extremely hard all year to both train and improve ourselves on the water, and have become a very disciplined team,” Nic Baird ’19 said. “What we’re most proud of though is the work we’ve done on our mental states. The team is full of very different people, and we’ve spent the season learning how to work well together.”

In the women’s A division, skipper Louisa Nordstrom ’20 sailed with Katie Clulo ’21, earning 106 points by the regatta’s end. Chrissie Klingler ’20 sailed with Cate Mollerus ’21 and Kira Woods ’19 in the B Division, bringing the Bulldogs’ total score to 214, just 15 points behind Harvard. With an overall score of 184, Brown ended the day in first place.

Klingler and Nordstrom ended the day with more accolades – after the Sperry championship, they were honored as ICSA Women’s All-American Skippers, an award bestowed upon eight total sailors this year. Nordstrom previously won the same award last year, and she was also a top three finalist for the 2019 Quantum Women’s Sailor of the Year award, though that honor ultimately went to a sailor from Brown.

While the women’s team has now completed its season, the coed team continues to dominate, winning Team Race National Championships a day before the final round of sailing. Though the women’s nationals were tallied by points, Laserperformance records are determined by wins and losses, according to Claudia Loiacono ’21. By the end of the second day of races, the Bulldogs’ stellar 20-2 record meant that even if Yale lost every race during day three, the Elis would still clinch the championships.

“I think people handled themselves pretty well, we were pretty level-headed throughout most of it,” Loiacono said.

Yale faced Georgetown, Stanford and Dartmouth on the final day and ended with a 21-4 record.

According to Baird, while half of the starting coed team graduated earlier this May – including himself and Nick Hernandez ’19 – he is confident that his younger teammates will continue Yale’s dominant streak. Since 2013, Yale has started with a first year or sophomore at every team race nationals and has won them five out of the past seven years.

“I think the team will take one step back right away as they adapt to losing some key members, but then they will take two big steps forward,” Baird said. “And I wouldn’t be surprised if they go on to continue the dynasty Yale sailing has created in college sailing.”

While the women’s team has officially closed out their season, the coed team will remain in Rhode Island to sail the ICSA Coed Eastern Semifinals and ICSA Coed Nationals later this week.

Valerie Pavilonis |