SAILING: Bulldogs torpedo competition at Stu Nelson, ACC Qualifiers
The Elis blow their competition out of the water with decisive wins at Connecticut College’s Stu Nelson regatta and the ACC qualifiers at home.
Melanie Heller, Contributing Photographer
In their fifth weekend of competition, the Bulldogs proved victorious at the Stu Nelson Regatta hosted by Connecticut College and the Yale-hosted Atlantic Coast Championships qualifiers. Yale also placed sixth at the Smith Trophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
This weekend, the co-ed ACC qualifiers took place at the Yale Corinthian Yacht Club in Branford, Connecticut. The co-ed team — ranked third nationally — sailed head-to-head on the Long Island Sound against some of the best teams in the country.
From the shore, alternates from several schools watched their teammates race. Sharing binoculars, snacks and company, sailors from opposing teams remained friendly.
“We see each other every weekend for five months of the year,” Georgetown University sailor Jack Hogan told the News. “We compete on the water, but off the water, we’re all friends.”
The top nine teams from both this regatta and another qualifier this weekend hosted by Brown move on to the Atlantic Coast Championships later this fall — hosted by St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Of the eight schools in the Ivy League, Princeton and Columbia did not compete in the ACC qualifiers, while Harvard and Cornell failed to qualify. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs will meet Dartmouth, Penn and Brown at the championships in two weeks.
Throughout the weekend, Yale led the pack in both the A and B divisions, helping the Elis cruise safely into first place by the end of the competition. Finishing 109 points ahead of second-place George Washington University, this was the first time the Bulldogs maintained a three-digit winning margin in a competition of the same length since the 2013 SMC Fall Interconference.
“We’ve had an undefeated streak going into the regatta,” said skipper Shawn Harvey ’22. “We really wanted to keep that momentum, and we showed that it was still there this weekend.”
The fall championships will solidify rankings for spring competition. Depending on how the Blue and White fare in Maryland, they could qualify for the more prestigious spring races.
At the Stu Nelson women’s regatta, the No. 6 Bulldogs blew away their competition, ending the weekend with an 85-point lead over host MIT. With big races next weekend, the sailors used the Stu Nelson as a learning opportunity.
“This weekend was about honing in on the skills we’ve been developing so far in the season and remembering the basic principles of how to strategically approach tricky racing,” Anisha Arcot ’23 told Yale Athletics in a statement.
For their successes last weekend, Yalies swept the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association weekly honors. NEISA Co-ed Sailors of the Week Harvey and Sonia Lingos-Utley ’22 sailed the fastest boat in the Danmark Trophy’s A division, leading the Bulldogs to a first place finish in the competition.
Pair Carmen Cowles ’25 and Meredith Ryan ’23 were awarded NEISA Women Sailors of the Week for their performance at the Women’s ACC qualifiers in Maryland. Their boat scored just 29 points in the A division, finishing first in seven of 13 races. Not only did the Elis pull out the victory, but the team qualified for the ACCs next weekend at Harvard.
Next week, the Bulldogs will head up north to Boston College’s Savin Hill Invite and the Captain Hurst regatta at Dartmouth. Because of victories at the Pine Trophy and the Women’s ACC qualifiers, the Blue and White will compete at the Match Race New Englands at Tufts University and the Women’s ACC at Harvard.
With victories at Stu Nelson and the ACC qualifiers, the Yale sailing teams have won nine regattas in the past five weeks.