Melanie Heller, Contributing Photographer

On the weekend of Oct. 16, the Yale sailing teams secured critical wins at the Larry White Trophy and the Women’s Atlantic Coast Championships, hosted by the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Harvard, respectively. The Bulldogs also placed second at Boston College’s Savin Hill Invite and third at Dartmouth’s Captain Hurst Bowl. 

The following weekend, the Blue and White picked up a win at the Coed ACCs at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Yale also finished the weekend victorious at the Fairfield Cup and Yale Women’s Trophy and placed second at Northeastern’s Oberg Trophy.

The Bulldogs qualified for the Larry White Trophy — the NEISA Match Race Championships — by finishing first at the Pine Trophy earlier this year. The Elis also won the White Trophy and qualified for the Match Race Nationals next month at the University of Florida. Yale is the only Ivy League school that qualified for the Florida regatta.

Match race regattas consist of two boats racing head-to-head. Results from a round-robin determine seeding for playoffs. The Blue and White not only won the Match Race New Englands, but won every single race — both in the round robin and the playoffs. 

The Yale team — Jack Egan ’25, Megan Grimes ’24, Christophe Chaumont ’23 and Nicholas Davies ’24 — won NEISA Coed Sailors of the Week awards for their dominating performance at the regatta.

At the Women’s ACCs in Cambridge, a breezy weekend made for tricky conditions on the notoriously shifty Charles River. 

“Saturday was some of the windiest conditions we’ve seen all season, and the wind direction made it super shifty as well.” Helena Ware ’23 told the Athletic Department.  “We were able to [succeed] by constantly looking for the next pressure and being quick to transition between puffs and lulls while working super hard in the windy spots to get every bit we could.”

By the time Saturday racing finished, Dartmouth had a strong lead while Yale and Brown were neck-and-neck for second place. On Sunday, the Bulldogs lived up to their No. 1 national ranking by averaging in fourth place across 16 races and pulling ahead of both Dartmouth and Brown to secure the victory. 

The Bulldogs’ rivalry with the Big Green continued at the Coed ACCs the following weekend. After the completion of seven races on Saturday, Yale and Dartmouth were tied with 26 points each. The Elis picked up a lead during the eleven races on Sunday, leaving Dartmouth in second place.

The Elis made the most of the home team advantage at the Yale Women’s regatta. On familiar waters, the Yale team took what they knew about how tides, winds and currents interact with the landscape and adjusted their boats accordingly. However, shifty WNW winds made sailing strategy difficult for all the boats in the competition.

“The racing was very much about being patient and keeping our options open,” Emma Cowles ’25 told Yale Athletics. “Catherine [Webb ’23] and I worked on our starts and communicating about the oncoming pressure as it was very shifty and puffy.”

From the second race in the regatta, the Blue and White placed first in the standings and were able to hold onto their lead for the rest of the weekend. 

Just half an hour from New Haven, the Fairfield Cup was a chance for many young sailors to become accustomed to collegiate competition. This regatta was either the first or second competition of the year for all six Yale sailors. The rookies represented the Blue and White well, placing first — 14 points ahead of second-place host Fairfield University.

“I think we all learned a lot and it was great having a chance to practice some skills in such a sportsman-like fleet,” said Emily Lau ’24.

Next weekend, the Bulldogs will wrap up their fall season on home waters at the Dave Perry Trophy and head up to Boston for the Nickerson Trophy at Tufts, the Urn Trophy at Harvard and the Schell Trophy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Since its third-place finish at the season opener Toni Deutsch regatta, the women’s sailing team has won every regatta it’s participated in.

Melanie Heller currently serves as the Sports Editor for the Yale Daily News. She previously reported on women's hockey. Originally from Potomac, MD, she is a junior in Silliman College double majoring in Economics and Humanities.