Melanie Heller, Contributing Photographer

The Yale sailing team traveled to the University of South Florida for the ICSA Match Race National Championship earlier this month, where they edged out the U.S. Naval Academy for first place.

The first-ranked program closed out their fall season in dominant fashion by taking home the Cornelius Shields, Sr. Trophy, its first Match Race National Championship in program history.

“We have been working towards this weekend since the first weekend of the fall season,” Jack Egan ’25 said ahead of the competition. “We hope to end it the way we started.”

The team — consisting of skipper Egan, main trimmer Megan Grimes ’24, trimmer Nicholas Davies ’24 and bow Christophe Chaumont ’23 — qualified for the national competition, already winning the Pine Trophy at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in the first weekend of the season and then finishing in the top of the fleet at the NEISA Match Race Championships at Harvard.

After the round-robin stage of the regatta, Yale and Navy each held an 8–1 record, with Yale stumbling against Georgetown University and Navy finishing behind the Elis.

To finalize the podium, Yale and Navy competed head-to-head in a three-race series for first place. Coast Guard and Georgetown raced for bronze in their own best-of-three series. Both finals needed all three races to determine the ultimate winners. The Bulldogs edged ahead of the Midshipmen in the end while Coast Guard found their way onto the podium in third.

“It was a great weekend of sailing with strong competition and challenging conditions,” Grimes told Yale Athletics. “I’m super proud of our team for keeping level heads and sailing hard.”

Yale has certainly been sailing hard this season, with wins at both Coed and Women’s Atlantic Coast Championships this fall in addition to Match Race Nationals.

The Bulldogs have won at least one regatta every weekend of competition this season. After a third-place finish at the Toni Deutsch regatta in the first week, the Blue and White also secured victories at every subsequent women’s regatta this year. Yale’s commanding season so far is a continuation of their 2019 National title.

“We had a fantastic fall season,and it’s really satisfying to look back on those successes,” Catherine Webb ’23 said. “There is always more work to do, and I’m really excited to grow with the team in the spring.”

Of the 33 regattas where the squad competed this fall, the Bulldogs won 19.

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.