Courtesy of Yale Athletics

Both past and current Yalies competed in the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team Trials from Jan. 6-13, with two alumni, Ian Barrows ’17 and Stuart McNay ’05, successfully securing spots in Paris this summer. 

The five sailors — Ian Barrows ’17, Stuart McNay ’05, Louisa Nordstrom ’20, Carmen Cowles ’25 and Stephan Baker ’26, all competed in the eight-day event in Miami, Florida. Although not Olympics qualifiers, current sailors Cowles and Baker put on strong performances in the mixed 470 class event and the 49er class event, respectively. Nordstrom placed fourth in the mixed 470 as well. Barrows and McNay will compete in Paris in a couple months with their respective non-Bulldog partners. 

Miami boasted sunny conditions for Barrows to add another accolade to his belt: qualifying for Team USA. After being in second place for the first two days of the event, he and his partner, Hans Henken, took the lead on day three and carried it all the way to the end of the race, securing their Olympics spots. 

During his time at Yale, Barrows was a leader and top competitor for the Bulldogs. Not only was he a four-time ICSA All-American Skipper, but he was also named NEISA Sailor of the Year twice, and ICSA Sailor of the Year in his senior year. Now, Barrows will continue to go for the gold in Paris.

Similarly, McNay is a two-time All-American, the 2002-03 NEISA Sportsman of the Year and a finalist for the 2004-05 College Sailor of the Year. However, he is also a seasoned Olympics competitor, with these qualifiers leading him to attend his fifth consecutive Olympics.

Down South, he and his partner — Eckerd College graduate and fellow seasoned Olympian Lara Dallman-Weiss — placed first in the mixed 470, never dropping down from first place over the entire eight-day period. 

McNay has competed with Team USA in both Beijing and Tokyo and even helped the team secure ninth overall in 2020 in the 470 men’s race. When not training for an Olympics, he has been an assistant sailing coach at his alma mater during the fall semester of 2005 and 2009, as well as during the Spring of 2006. 

Now, he is serving his third season as the Davis Emma Assistant Coach Chair for Brown University Sailing in 2022-24.

These seasoned competitors were not far ahead of Cowles in the mixed 470, as she placed only one point behind the two, just enough to barely miss qualifying. 

Once a NEISA Women’s Rookie of the Year, Cowles has since been Ivy League Women’s Champion, Quantum Women’s College Sailor of the Year Finalist and Women’s All American Skipper. Soon, she may be able to add an Olympic qualification to her accolades.  

Similarly, Baker, who finished fifth in the 49er event back in his hometown of Miami, was named NEISA Open Sailor of the Week, earned First Team All-NEISA and was honored with an All-American Honorable Mention all last season.

Nonetheless, McNay and Barrows will proudly represent the United States in Paris from July 26 to Aug. 11, hoping to take home the gold on the world’s biggest athletic stage.

Paloma Vigil is the Arts Editor for the Yale Daily News. She previously served as a DEI co-chair and staff reporter for the University and Sports desks. Past coverage includes religious life, Yale College Council, sailing and gymnastics. Originally from Miami, she is a junior in Pauli Murray College majoring in Psychology and Political Science.