SAILING: Bulldogs making waves at windy weekend races
The Yale Sailing competed at four events this past weekend, coming away with a first-place win at the Hoyt Trophy.
Yale sailors encountered difficult weather conditions this weekend at four regattas. However, that did not stop the team from snatching a win at the Hoyt Trophy, ninth at the Hood Trophy, sixth at the Salt Pond Invite and first and third at the Mrs. Hurst Bowl.
The Bulldogs dominated at the 25th Mrs. Hurst Bowl, hosted by Dartmouth College, as they prepared to qualify for the Women’s Atlantic Coast Championship. Winning by 60 points, Carmen Cowles ’25, Sydney Zoehrer ’24, Sarah Moeder ’26, Emma Cowles ’25 and Carmen Berg ’26 took first by a wide margin; the other Yale team finished third, only two points behind second place.
“On Saturday, Carmen [Cowles] and I focused on clean, low-density starts, boat speed and limiting our number of tacks to the windward mark,” Zoehrer said. “Going through the motions to control what we could and making small adjustments along the way helped us power through a heavy-wind day and stay out in front of the pack.”
Emma Cowles mentioned that her boat had a rough start to the event, but they managed to make an impressive comeback. To deal with the varied wind conditions, they “focused step-by-step on passing one boat at a time and staying in phase with the wind shifts,” she said.
Saturday’s forecast boasted strong winds, which allowed the team to practice heavy air sailing, while Sunday’s wind conditions were lighter and consistent with what the team has seen in the past, Jessi Avila-Shah ’25 told the News. Communication was key for both the skippers and crews over the two days and 14 races.
“We had very different conditions between Saturday and Sunday,” Emma Cowles said. “I’m happy with how Carmen Berg and I were communicating in the boat and executing our strategy.”
In addition, Rhode Island experienced some up-and-down wind conditions, but the Bulldogs managed the challenge with ease. At the end of day one of the Hoyt Trophy, the Bulldogs were able to land first in Division A and second in B. Day two proved to be more challenging as wind directions changed, but the Bulldogs managed to stay first in Division A, fifth in Division B, and first overall, winning the event.
Notably, Jack Egan ’25 and Catherine Webb ’23 won their division by 25 points.
The conditions in Massachusetts at the Hood Trophy were equally challenging. Sailors of all years and talents attended this race for Yale, and they finished in a solid ninth place. The second Yale team finished right behind the other in tenth place. It was essential to start the races strong, stay in the proper phase and have sturdy handling of their boats.
Stephan Baker ’26 continued to make a splash this weekend as a new addition to the team, earning first place next to Meredith Ryan ’23 in Division A at the same regatta.
Emma Cowles expressed how pleased she is with the team’s improvements this particular week, and she is looking forward to putting in the effort at practice so that the following regatta results can showcase their hard work.
Lastly, the Bulldogs placed sixth overall out of 15 competing boats at the Salt Pond Invite, also set in Rhode Island.
Yale Sailors are set to stay in-state for the Danmark Trophy next weekend, as well as travel to Rhode Island and Massachusetts once more for the Moody Trophy and Lark Invite, respectively.