Despite challenging weather conditions across the East Coast, Yale sailing continued its successful season this past weekend.
Yale sailors competed in four states ranging from New Hampshire to Maryland. The races continued a strong season for the Bulldogs as the teams adapted to changing weather over the course of competition. The coed team finished first and second at the Hewitt Trophy, fourth at the Truxtun Umsted Coed Showcase Semifinal, and seventh and eighth at the Smith Trophy, while the women placed fifth at the Stu Nelson Trophy.
“We were glad to have a weekend of really challenging conditions to work on adapting to a constantly changing race course,” head coach Zachary Leonard said.
The Elis triumphed at the Hewitt Trophy hosted by Dartmouth, placing first and second in a field of 17 teams. While the two teams scored within 10 points of each other, the Bulldogs beat their next closest competitor, Tufts, by a wide margin of 57 points.
Dylan DiMarchi ’20, who competed at the Hewitt Trophy Regatta, told the News that the team has been practicing for the crucial first three minutes of the race.
The racing this weekend showcased the team’s hard work, and the Bulldogs were “able to have consistent starts that let us get to wind shifts early,” DiMarchi said.
The victory came despite varying conditions over the two days of competition in Hanover: Saturday had light winds and smooth water, but Sunday saw bigger gusts from different directions.
“It was very important to keep our heads out of the boat and focus on the next pressure coming down the course,” Anisha Arcot ’22 said.
In addition to the fluctuating wind, conditions were overall colder than past races — some team members wore drysuits to stay warm while competing.
The Blue and White also placed fourth in the Truxtun Umsted Coed Showcase Semifinals. The race, hosted by Navy, is the preceding event to the showcase finals, the most important coed competition event in the New England Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association. Conditions similarly shifted over the two days of racing, with winds from the east on Saturday and from the southwest on Sunday.
Although Navy claimed a home win, Yale earned a spot in the 2019 Fiske Harriman Sleigh at Connecticut College later this month by placing in the top nine.
“[This regatta] was the more competitive regatta of the two semifinals,” Shawn Harvey ’21 said. “[The team is] happy to finish fourth after a tough weekend.”
Two Yale coed teams at the George Warren Smith tournament faced difficult weather conditions with inconsistent wind on the Charles River. The crews sailed for seventh and eighth place amongst a crowd of 19 teams. The two Yale teams scored within two points of each other at 195 and 197 points.
At the Stu Nelson Trophy on the Thames River in New London, Connecticut, the women’s team competed again at Connecticut College, following a first-place finish at the Women’s Showcase Regatta on Sept. 28 and 29. This week, the Bulldogs had a fifth-place finish behind Harvard and Stanford, who finished first and second respectively.
As the season continues, Leonard told the News that the team will “continue to work on the skills that will help us to have an edge each weekend.”
The Yale Corinthian Yacht Club, the home of the varsity sailing team, is the oldest collegiate sailing club in the world.
Katie Taylor | firstname.lastname@example.org