Sailors close out dinghy season in a breeze
Sailors won the New England Conference Championship as the fall season comes to an end.
The Bulldogs made remarkable closing waves at the New England Conference Championships this past weekend, winning their first team race event at the Dave Perry Trophy.
In the face of difficult wind conditions, the Yale coed sailors won the Schell Trophy at Coast Guard, which served as the New England Conference Championships. They placed 15 points ahead of second runner-up, Brown, and are looking ahead with bright eyes towards the spring season.
“I feel proud about the team’s fall season,” Emma Cowles ’25 said. “We’ve been able to demonstrate our potential all the while seeing where we have room for growth as a team.”
Cowles sailed alongside Mia Nicolosi ’25, Anisha Arcot ’23 and Ben Markert ’23. The trio finished second in Division B. That effort, coupled with a decisive margin of victory by Division A sailors Jack Egan ’25 and Catherine Webb ’23, gave the Bulldogs the overall win.
Egan and Webb, who finished first in the A division, earned their impressive fourth dinghy sailing win this season alone.
Head coach Zachary Leonard believes the team has “improved a lot” this past season, and thinks that “the team is hungry to keep improving.”
Additionally, Yale secured second place at the Victoria Urn Trophy at Brown. The event, which functioned as this year’s New England Women’s Fall Championship, featured winds reaching up to eight knots.
Cowles, who sailed with Helena Ware ’23 and Carmen Berg ’26 in Division B, mentioned the difficulty of maintaining their consistency as the wind conditions were not only high-velocity, but also “changing constantly.”
Division B never fell outside of the top 10 and won three out of the total 12 races. Mia Nicolosi ’25, Ximena Escobar ’25, and Sarah Moeder ’26 also fought their way to third place in Division A, very close behind second.
Overall, the team took the silver, trailing first-place Dartmouth by just seven points. The strong finish to the season showcased the potential of this year’s Blue and White squad.
The Bulldogs also raced at the first and only team racing event of the fall at the Dave Perry Trophy, where they took home a first-place win at the McNay Family Sailing Center. The event marked a hopeful beginning to the spring’s season, which focuses more heavily on team races.
“The spring brings a different type of racing, team racing,” Leonard said. “Our team really likes team racing, so we are really looking forward to starting the process.”
Cowles expressed this excitement as she emphasized that the team will need to practice “the plays and game strategy needed for this style of racing,” referring to team racing and three-on-three, best-combo-wins events.
The spring season will allow the coed team to practice both fleet racing and team racing regattas, leading up to the National Championships at the United States Merchant Marine Academy.
Last spring, the Bulldogs accumulated an impressive number of awards, including the Fowle Trophy, awarded to the best overall team in the nation, as they won both the women’s and open team race nationals. Nathan Sih ’25 explained the team’s mindset as they look to replicate that success.
“As we prepare for this spring season, we will continue to work on taking advantage of every opportunity on the water to improve our speed and tactics in order to come out strong after winter break,” Sih said.
The coed team will officially finish the fall season in the single-handed nationals this upcoming weekend, but the majority of the fall season is complete.