Tag Archive: Sailing

  1. Ahoy! Elis dominate the seas

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    Repeating recent success, both the coed and women’s sailing teams dominated the East Coast this weekend.

    The No. 1 coed sailing team gained valuable experience at three different events, finishing in first place twice and sixth place once. The squad’s counterparts on the No. 3 Yale women’s team traveled to Boston to compete in the Regis Bowl, capturing the title there.

    “You’re just looking to gain as much practice as possible,” skipper Graham Landy ’15 said. “Having the depth to send two teams to top regattas will benefit us down the road with regattas being the best type of practice for nationals.”

    On Saturday and Sunday, Landy and team captain Chris Segerblom ’14 competed at Maryland in one of the premier fleet races of the weekend. The regatta was held at St. Mary’s, the host of the spring team racing and coed fleet racing national championships and thus provided valuable experience for the Bulldogs, who will be competing there later in the year.

    In the A division, Landy and crew Katherine Gaumond ’15 won eight of the 18 races and took home the title by 30 points over No. 7 St. Mary’s. In the B division, Segerblom and Charlotte Belling ’16, who crewed races one through 12, and Sarah Smith ’15, who crewed races 13 through 18, won seven of 18 races and captured the B title by 40 points. The sailors’ success allowed the Bulldogs to capture the overall title by finishing more than 100 points ahead of the second placed team, No. 4 Georgetown.

    “It was definitely nice to go to Maryland and get a good result,” Belling said. “Having the experience of sailing where nationals will be in the spring will help us down the road and give us a leg up on teams who didn’t go.”

    In the New England Men’s Singlehanded Championship, held at Yale, three underclassmen rose to the top. While Eric Anderson ‘16 performed well in very light winds and finished 22nd overall, a pair of other freshmen battled at the top of the charts the whole regatta. In the end, Ian Barros ’17 and Mitchell Kiss ’17 finished first and second overall, respectively.

    Despite placing ninth in the first race, Barros had a superb ending to the day by finishing in the top three in the last five races. Kiss was also outstanding, winning five races. The result places both Barros and Kiss into the ISCA Men’s Singlehanded National Championship in Newport, R.I. this November.

    “The underclassmen play a huge role in our success,” Landy said. “We have had great recruiting classes recently, so everyone is super competitive. It is definitely awesome to see them do so well early on.”

    The Bulldogs also sent a team to the 31st Hood Trophy hosted by Tufts. Competing against 17 other schools, the Elis finished sixth overall. The Bulldogs had top five finishes in six of 18 races, with three of those results coming in the last four events to secure the sixth position by a slim 5-point margin.

    Skipper Marlena Fauer ’14 and crew Eugena Custo Grieg ’14 finished third overall in the A division, while skipper Max Nickbarg ’14 and crews Natalya Doris and Meredith Megarry ’17 finished eighth in the B division.

    At the Regis Bowl, the women’s team claimed victory for the second time this season in the contest on the Charles River. Skipper Morgan Kiss ’15 and crew Amanda Salvesen ’14 cruised past the competition by finishing first or second in every race except for three to take home the A-division crown. Skipper Marly Isler ’16 and crew Clara Robertson ’17, who was making her collegiate debut, placed in the top five in all but one of the ten races en route to a first place finish in the B division.

    Overall, the Bulldogs beat second placed Boston University by 45 points.

    The women’s team will continue its season by competing at the Women’s Navy Fall Intersectional in two weekends. The coed team will head to New London for the Danmark Trophy at the Coast Guard Academy this coming weekend in a regatta that is anticipated to be very competitive.

    “The Danmark is always a tough regatta with a deep fleet and a tricky venue,” Landy said. “We’ve been trying to stay relaxed at events, knowing that we have the tools to win, and let other teams make the mistakes.”

  2. SAILING | Cullman ’13 takes New England championship, qualifies for nationals

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    Amid yet another superb week for the Np. 1 coed and women’s sailing teams, captain Cam Cullman ’13 won the New England Men’s Singlehanded Championship at Boston College.

    Cullman’s effort capped a weekend that featured a second-place finish for sailors from the co-ed team at the Tufts-hosted Hood Trophy, and a third-place finish for the women’s team at the Regis Bowl Regatta at Boston University. Cullman was the only Yalie from the coed team to place high enough to qualify for the ICSA National Singlehanded Championships. The women’s qualifiers will be held next weekend.

    “The pressure was on a little bit to defend my title,” Cullman said. “But I just went out there, and I was really lucky I have some great coaches who got my head on right.”

    With the victory, Cullman qualified for the national championships, which he won last year. The next three finishers and qualifiers for the national championship came from other schools, while in Yale’s second boat Max Nickbarg ’14 finished just out of a qualifying position in 11th place.

    Cullman credited Nickbarg, along with their coaches, for helping him prepare for the race and added that Nickbarg should qualify for nationals next year.

    Sailors from the co-ed team competed in two other regattas over the weekend. The Bulldogs placed second at the Hood Trophy, an event Cullman described as a “tier one regatta.” Graham Landy ’15 and Heather May ’13 sailed in the A division and placed first among a field of teams from several different conferences. In the B division, the Yale boat of Chris Segerblom ’14, Katherine Gaumond ’15 and Charlotte Belling ’16 finished third. For Belling, the meet represented the second regatta of her career at Yale.

    “I thought this weekend went really well,” she said. “It was really exciting being back on a lake because I sailed on a lake in high school.”

    The Elis placed seventh at the University of Rhode Island’s Salt Pond Invitational.

    The women’s sailing team also completed a successful weekend and finished third at the Regis Bowl Regatta at Boston University. Sophomore duo Morgan Kiss ’15 and Urska Kosir ’15 finished first in the A division, while the freshman pair of Marly Isler ’16 and Emily Johnson ’16 placed third in the B division.

    “We felt pretty good about it,” Kiss said. “The race took place on the Charles River, which is a pretty difficult venue to sail at and has different conditions than what we have at Yale, so it was good practice for our team and we were happy with the result.”

    Despite their success at this weekend’s regattas, the Bulldogs are focusing on the remainder of the season and on the Atlantic Coast Championships in November.

    “We just want to keep getting experience,” Kiss said. “The goal is to perform at the Atlantic Coast Championships.”

    Cullman added that he and a few of the female sailors, will look forward to making their mark at singlehanded championship meets at the end of the season. The qualifiers for the women’s team will be held next weekend at the New England Women’s Singlehanded Championship at Connecticut College.

    Members of the women’s team not seeking to qualify for the singlehanded nationals will also compete at Connecticut College, but at the college’s Women’s Invitational.

    The co-ed sailing team will continue their season next weekend at the Danmark Trophy, the Mystic Lake invitational and the Smith Trophy.

  3. SAILING | Elis speed past rivals

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    Uneasy conditions at four different regattas couldn’t stop the top-ranked coed and women’s sailing teams from proving their mettle this weekend.

    Following their victory last weekend at the Toni Deutsch Invitational, the women’s team defended their first-place national ranking with a decisive win at the Mrs. Hurst Bowl, hosted by Dartmouth. The coed team, also ranked first in the nation, divided and sent members to three different regattas, where they competed against national title contenders and Ivy rivals. The Elis finished fifth at the Hatch Brown Trophy hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, came in sixth at the Nevin’s Trophy hosted by the U.S. Merchant Marine and ended up in 13th place at the Boston Harbor Invitational at Boston College.

    “The coed varsity team did a great job at two different three-division regattas,” assistant coach William Healy said. “We were spread pretty thin because of that but as a team we learned a ton to move us forward in the season.”

    The third regatta featured three sailors ­— Marissa Pettit ’14, Marly Isler ’16 and Emily Johnson ’16 — joining veteran Will Feldman ’14 for their competitive racing debut.

    The women’s team asserted dominance in both the A and B divisions at the Mrs. Hurst Bowl, with skipper Emily Billing ’13 and crew Amanda Salvesen ’14 placing third in the A Division. In the B division, skipper Claire Dennis ’13 and crew Kate Gaumond ’15 took first. Yale beat No. 2 Dartmouth by 96 points, No. 3 Brown by 109 points and No. 5 Georgetown by 72 points.

    “The women’s team is crushing it,” Feldman said.

    Gaumond added that the Eli sailors were best prepared to adjust to weather changes.

    “It was really windy on Friday, and I think our team was able to handle that a lot better than the other girls on the water,” she said. “We did a really good job and won by 60 points, which is a lot for sailing.”

    Despite being split up and sent to three different competitions, the coed team also had a strong showing. Since wind conditions make sailing a dynamic sport, it is not necessary for the top team to win every regatta to retain its ranking.

    “Boston tends to be a tricky place to sail in general,” Feldman said. “It’s more important that we steadily get better for the bigger regattas at the end of the season.”

    At the Hatch Brown Trophy, Yale defeated No. 2 Georgetown by 178 points, No. 3 Charleston by 31 points and No. 5 Brown by 12 points. The duo of skipper Graham Landy ’15 and crew Heather May ’13 placed fourth in the A Division, while Cam Cullman ’13 and Sanam Rastegar ’16 placed fifth in the B Division. In the C Division sophomores Morgan Kiss ’15 and Urska Kosir ’15 came in ninth.

    At Nevin’s Trophy, skipper Chris Segerblom ’14 and crew Charlotte Belling ’16 finished eighth place in the A Division. Marlena Fauer ’14 and Eugenia Custo Greig ’14 finished fifth in the B Division and Max Nickbarg ’14 placed ninth in Lasers, a division with smaller, individual boats.

    While Feldman said the team was generally happy with the weekend’s performances, both he and Healy emphasized the need to continue improving their racing techniques.

    “Every team in the country will get better as the season progresses, so we need to make sure we do the same and then some,” Healy said.

    Next weekend the Bulldogs will send coed teams to the Hood Trophy hosted by Tufts, the Chris Loder Trophy hosted by the University of New Hampshire and the Salt Pond Invitational hosted by the University of Rhode Island. The women’s team will travel to Boston University for the Regis Bowl Regatta.

  4. SAILING | Elis excel under Leonard

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    This year’s preseason sailing rankings of No. 1 and No. 2 for the women’s and coed sailing teams continue a long tradition of success for sailing head coach Zack Leonard ’89.

    Since sailing became a varsity sport at Yale in 2002, the coed team has earned a preseason ranking within the top ten in all but one year, and the women’s team has yet to fall below the ninth spot. This sort of perennial success is not foreign to the sailing team or to Leonard.

    Fifty-five All-American sailors, five national championship appearances and four current Olympians are just some of the achievements Leonard has helped the Yale sailors attain since he was asked to head Yale’s sailing coaching staff in 2002. Leonard has also shown his own prowess on the water.

    “It was a lot of people working hard together to get things back where they have been,” Leonard, a four time U.S. Team Racing Champion and one time U.K. Team Racing Champion, said. Leonard added that the last time Yale sailing had found similar success was in the 1970s, when sailing remained a club sport.

    Members of the Yale sailing team attribute its success to Leonard and his assistants.

    “I think he is the best collegiate coach in the country,” Cam Cullman ’13, skipper and captain of the coed team, said. “We are really lucky to have him. He is very calm and knowledgeable in addition to being so technically sound.”

    Cullman added that Leonard’s sturdy technical foundation has enabled him to impart invaluable skills on the sailing team. Leonard said the two components to effective racing are speed and quick decision-making. His goal has always been to teach both as quickly as possible.

    Cullman came to Yale as a strong single-handed sailor. Under Leonard’s coaching, however, Cullman said he quickly developed the skills and tactics he required as a competitive double-handed sailor. He attributed the acquisition of these skills to a combination of hard work and Leonard’s style.

    “He is very focused and always has a game plan,” Cullman said. “He has a great eye for seeing trends and always knows what is going to happen on the water before it happens.”

    This competitive intuition that comes with Leonard’s fruitful sailing experience has helped the team with more than just technical prowess. Crew Kate Gaumond ’15 said Leonard has surrounded himself with some of the best coaching staff in the country to compliment his style.

    Bill Healy, the 1995 U.S. Sailing Men’s National Champion and Stuart McNay ’05, who placed 13th at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the Men’s 470 class, complete Leonard’s team of advisors.

    Gaumond said that having three coaches allows the team to split into groups for practice, giving it more individual attention. Also, each coach can attend a different regatta when the team has multiple competitions in a single weekend.

    In addition to a world-class coaching staff and plenty of hard work, Leonard attributes the success of the team to the variety of conditions the Bulldogs sail in on the Long Island Sound.

    “We have to be creative and use the conditions we’re dealt each day, so we are adaptive to our environment,” Leonard said. “When we have a day that is really shifty off the land, we will work on decision-making and when we have a day where the wind is coming from the sea, we work on speed.”

    Both teams next compete on Saturday. The women will be at Dartmouth for the Mrs. Hurst Bowl and the coed team will be at King’s Point for Nevin’s Trophy. Both the coed team and the women’s team have yet to finish out of first place this season.

  5. SAILING | Elis dominate opening weekend

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    Yale’s two varsity sailing teams won their three major regattas this past weekend, enjoying an auspicious start to the season.

    The No. 2 coed team placed first at the Harry Anderson Trophy, hosted by Yale, and the Pine Trophy Sloop Elims, hosted by the Coast Guard Academy. The No. 1 women’s team won the Toni Deutsch Trophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    At the Harry Anderson Trophy, the A division team took second place after eight races. On Saturday, the team consisted of skipper Marlena Fauer ’14 and crew Will Feldman ’14; on Sunday, it consisted of Fauer and crew Eugenia Custo Greig ’14. The B division team, skippered by Morgan Kiss ’15 with crew Custo Greig on Saturday, and Kiss with crew Urska Kosir ’15 on Sunday, took first place in eight races. Overall, the Bulldogs won by 11 points.

    At the Pine Trophy Sloop Elims, a sloop event hosted by the Coast Guard Academy, the coed team was represented by skipper Chris Segerblom ’14 and crew Max Nickbarg ’14, Eric Anderson ’16, and Marly Isler ’16. After nine races, the Bulldogs finished in first place. The top four teams from the Pine Trophy qualified for the New England Sloop Championship in New York, which will ultimately be the qualifier for the Intercollegiate Sailing Association Sloop Nationals in Fort Worth, Texas.

    The women’s team secured a first place overall victory in Boston. The A division team, which finished in second place, consisted of skipper Emily Billing ’13 and crew Amanda Salvesen ’14. The B division team, which finished in first place, consisted of skipper Claire Dennis ’13 and crew Kate Gaumond ’15.

    These early victories suggest that the Bulldogs are picking up where they left off at the end of last year’s successful season, which ended with women’s team finishing second at Nationals, and the coed team finishing third at Nationals.

    “We’ve had really good practices, trying to get continuity from last year, trying to get the ball rolling again,” Will Feldman ’14 said.

    The teams lost important members of the class of 2012, but have acquired a strong group of six freshmen.

    Segerblom said this year’s teams both have deep rosters with experienced sailors. He said he is confident about the teams’ prospects for this season.

    “I think everyone has been super excited to get the season started,” he said, “and having a strong first weekend like we had this weekend bodes well for the future.”

    Segerblom said that the members of the sloop team are putting added focus into qualifying for the Sloop Nationals, as the team has fallen just short of qualifying for the New England Championship in past seasons. Now that it has made it to the first stage, he said, it will put an increased emphasis on practicing match racing, a form of competition in which two boats race around a course. The team plans to practice hard so it can achieve a first place finish in the New England Sloop Championship and go represent Yale at the Nationals in Texas in November, Segerblom said.

    While the team is enthusiastic about its victories, Cam Cullman ’13 added, “Everyone is a little rusty, and we realize we have a lot of work to do.”

    Next weekend, the women’s team will compete at Dartmouth in the Mrs. Hurst Bowl Regatta, while the coed team will compete in the Boston Harbor Invitational, the Lake Champlain Open, the Hatch Brown Trophy and Nevin’s Trophy.

  6. SAILING | Elis hit preseason high

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    Starting with their highest preseason rankings in more than a decade, the Yale sailing teams hope the momentum continues to build throughout the fall.

    The women’s sailing team is coming off a second-place finish at the Intercollegiate Sailing Association Women’s National Championships and topped the preseason Sailing World College Rankings, released Monday, with 201 points, a 51-point lead over Boston College in second. The coed team placed third in the ICSA nationals, and ranked No. 2 in the standings at 247 points, behind Georgetown with 270 points.

    “Our team’s goal is to keep improving [and] stay motivated,” women’s captain Emily Billing ’13 said. “We have a strong group of girls this year,”

    Morgan Kiss ’15, who competes on both the women’s and the coed teams, said she is optimistic about the upcoming season and added that she refined her skills during her freshman year. Despite the nine members of the class of 2012 on the combined teams who graduated, Kiss said she thinks the team’s six freshmen — four women and two men — will adjust quickly.

    The team hopes to carry the momentum from its strong finish in the nationals last season and its No. 1 preseason ranking through to victory this fall, though Billing said team members will be particularly focused on using the regattas to boost their skills in competition setting.

    Billing said she hopes the teams will improve the tactical and boat-handling skills that can help them sail in a successful fall season.

    “We are going to take every race at a time, and we want to make sure we learn from each one to help us in the long run,” Billing said. “We want to bring that attitude from our races more into our practices to help us all improve as much as possible.”

    The first regattas of the season will be the Harry Anderson Trophy at Yale and Pine Trophy Sloop Elims at the Coast Guard Academy on Sept. 8 to 9 for the coed team, and the Women’s Toni Deutsch Trophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the women’s team.

  7. SAILING | Elis capture Ivy title

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    Last weekend, the No. 1 coed sailing team handily won the Ivy title, with positive results for the coed and women’s teams elsewhere as well.

    The coed team dominated the Owen, Mosbacher and Knapp trophies, the de facto Ivy League sailing championship, which it hosted from the McNay Family Sailing Center in Branford. Additionally, the Elis captured the Boston Dinghy Cup at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a third-place finish at the Southern Series One at Salve Regina in Newport, R.I., The No. 2 women’s team finished third at the Duplin Trophy Team Race Regatta at Tufts University.

    “We’ve definitely improved, and we can improve even more,” sailing head coach Zachary Leonard ’89 said. “We’ve been [able to spot] bad situations before they arise.”

    The Ivy regatta had 12 fleet races for each division. In a fleet race, 20 boats, each representing a different school, compete for first place.

    Crew Isabel Elliman ’12, who won the A division in the Ivies with skipper Joe Morris ’12 by a 19-point lead, said sailing in home waters gave the coed team an edge. Elliman added that the team was able to adjust quickly to the range of different sailing conditions that confronted the team.

    The Bulldogs faced gusts peaking at 15 knots on Saturday and fluctuating winds on Sunday of less than 10 knots. Skipper Marlena Fauer ’14 said the patchy Sunday breezes made boat positioning tricky since the wind pressure was not always visible.

    Fauer, who won the B division by six points with Eugenia Greig ’14, said the team’s consistency in every race was the key for its victory.

    “We didn’t go out to win every race right from the beginning, but rather put ourselves in a position in the top five with opportunities to pass boats,” Fauer said. “Joe [Morris] and I [also] did a good job of communicating between the A and B division sets and relaying important information about the breeze and the course.”

    Crew Genoa Warner ’12, who competed for the Boston Dinghy Cup in the A division, also attributed the victory to the team’s consistency and readiness to adapt to the shifting waters and sailing conditions. She added that the Charles River, where the regatta was held, often has unpredictable conditions, although it did not prove to be as tricky this weekend.

    Warner added that the team sailed in unfamiliar boats usually used in England called “Fireflies,” adding another level of complexity to its racing.

    The women’s team competed in a team racing format at the Duplin Trophy Team Race Regatta. In a team racing format, three boats from one school compete collectively against three boats from another, and the result of that race is determined by the sum of their places.

    Crew Amanda Salvesen ’14 said she was pleased with the third place result, adding that they conquered the undefeated Boston College.

    “I think we consistently improved over the weekend, and in our final race, our work really came together and we began to work as a team,” Salvesen said.

    Skipper and captain Emily Billing ’13 said that only one of the six team members who participated in the event had had experience in team racing prior to the regatta, adding that the sailors thought of the race as a learning experience.

    While the coed team will practice team racing in preparation for the Southern New England Team Race Intersectional at Connecticut College next weekend, the women’s team will focus more on fleet racing for the Brad Dellenbaugh tournament in Providence, R.I., also next weekend.

  8. SAILING | Women’s and coed teams rise to victory

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    Yale’s No. 1 women’s sailing and No. 2 coed sailing teams ended spring break on a high note — both teams clinched first-place finishes in the final weekend of the recess.

    The women’s team reached second place at its second spring season regatta in Charleston on March 3 and 4, followed by fifth place at Navy Intersectional in Annapolis the subsequent weekend. The team rounded off the spring break with a victory at the St. Mary’s Intersectional last weekend.

    The coed team placed third at the Eckerd Intersectional in its first weekend of the break and fifth in the following weekend’s St. Mary’s Team Race. Last weekend, the team came in fifth at the Veitor Trophy but rose to first place at the Truxton Umsted Intersectional at the Naval Academy.

    “I think we were able to sail really well despite the light and tricky conditions,” Marlena Fauer ’14 said. “We definitely learned a lot from our mistakes and are ready to take this gained knowledge to the next regatta to further improve.”

    The weekends challenged the sailors with a range of weather conditions, ranging from 30-knot gusts on the first weekend to breezes of less than five knots during the third weekend. Fauer said the teams faced shifting and unpredictable wind patterns that made it difficult for them to prepare for each race.

    Despite the victories this weekend, including a 28-point lead by the coed team last weekend, sailing head coach Zachary Leonard said both teams still have room to improve.

    “All of the sailors performed well during at least one weekend,” Leonard said. “[But] few performed well during all three of them.”

    Improving consistency will be a key focus in the teams’ training this season, he added, which will consist of practices out in the water on Tuesdays through Friday. He added that he is optimistic that the teams will continue to deliver a strong performance in upcoming regattas.

    The women’s team will head to Medford, Mass., next weekend for the Duplin Trophy, while the coed team will participate in three regattas, all happening Saturday and Sunday. The coed team will host the Owen, Mosbacher and Knapp Trophies, which serve as the de facto Ivy League sailing championships, and other members of the team will attend the Boston Dinghy Cup at MIT or the Southern Series One at Salve Regina.

  9. SAILING | Elis shake off winter rust

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    With only one day of practice, the No. 4 Yale coed sailing team pulled off a tight team victory this weekend.

    A three-pair team represented the Bulldogs at the two-day Bob Bavier Team Race, which marked the team race season opener for the team. Hosted by the College of Charleston on the Cooper River in South Carolina, the race saw the team sail to a 23–4 victory, edging past No. 9 Stanford’s record of 22–5 and No. 2 Charleston’s third-place record of 21–6.

    In team racing, each of a school’s three boats face off against another school’s fleet of three boats. A team’s score is equal to the sum of the ranks of its three boats, and the team with the lowest score wins the round. Each school competes in a total of 27 rounds.

    “This victory was a great place to start off this season,” sailing head coach Zachary Leonard ’89 said. “We’re still trying to shake the rust off, and we’ve got a lot of improvement to make, but we were pretty solid across the board.”

    Leonard added that the weekend provided good sailing conditions for competition, despite the freezing weather.

    By the end of the first day, the Bulldogs were in third place with an 11–4 tally, but went on to win all 12 races the next day. The tournament result came down to the last race against Stanford, in which crew member Genoa Warner ’12 said the Yale team narrowly beat the Cardinal. Warner added that team members did not even know the overall score until after the entire event.

    Leonard attributed the team’s victory to the experience of the three skippers, Joseph Morris ’12, captain Cameron Cullman ’13 and Chris Segerblom ’14.

    While colder weather in the Northeast meant that the team only had one full day of practice before the event — compared to nearly a month for some of the Bulldogs’ western and southern rivals — the team had weekly meetings during the winter offseason to discuss team race strategy.

    Heather May ’13, who crewed for the Bulldogs, said the team has not changed its racing strategies over the years, but focused on how they would implementing them during the meetings. She added that she was pleased by how the team performed, and at this point the team’s technique just needs fine-tuning.

    The Bulldogs will train for the first week of spring break in Florida after competing next weekend at the Eckerd Intersectional in St. Petersburg, Fla.

    Leonard said the team’s training program in Florida will depend upon the weather conditions there.

  10. SAILING | Cullman ’13 claims national title

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    This weekend, Yale sailing proved worthy of its No. 1 national ranking. At the ICSA National Singlehanded Championships, Cam Cullman ’13 became the new men’s national champion in Lasers, while Claire Dennis ’13 and Emily Billing ’13 finished second and third in the women’s national championship. Lasers are one-person boats, and sailing them requires a skill set different from that required in sailing doublehanded dinghies, boats more frequently raced in college regattas.

    The trio’s presence was expected at this year’s Singlehanded Nationals. Last year, Cullman placed third. Dennis was the defending women’s national champion, while Billing finished fourth a year ago.

    In early October, Cullman qualified for the Singlehanded Nationals with ease, finishing the New England regional qualifiers with 60 points. The second-place finisher had 118. This weekend, Cullman replicated his dominance on Lake Michigan. Through 15 races over three days, Cullman accrued 57 points, a massive 27 above his nearest opponent. Cullman won five races and finished in the top five in all but four. His mastery was especially impressive since Cullman’s 17 opponents were the best Laser sailors in the country. Cullman said he was grateful for all the coaching he received.

    “My coaches Zack Leonard and Bill Healy helped me keep my head on my shoulders, and their strategy allowed me to minimize risk around the race course to sail consistent races and to grab the win,” Cullman said.

    Although he is now the national champion in Lasers, the drudgery of student life still remains.

    “Now I have to try to study for a neuroscience exam tomorrow, and it’s proving harder than I expected,” Cullman said.

    Much as Cullman’s finish at the qualifiers for the Singlehanded Nationals this year was indicative of his performance at the actual Championships, Dennis and Billing finished second and third, respectively, both at the qualifiers and the nationals. Anne Haeger, a senior from Boston College and long-time friend of both Dennis and Billing, played the same role as Cullman, taking first at both regattas.

    Last year, Dennis edged out Haeger for the national championship by one point. Although this year Haeger reversed the script, Dennis has yet to finish outside the top two at the Singlehanded Nationals. Through the 15 races of the regatta, Dennis racked up 69 points, eight ahead of Billing and 35 ahead of the fourth-place finisher. Dennis displayed consistency, finishing inside the top five in 11 out of 15 races. While acknowledging that Haeger sailed a race worthy of a national champion, Dennis thought her hard work this fall had paid off.

    “I didn’t really have any expectations going in,” Dennis said. “I was just hoping to improve on the things I’ve been working on.”

    Billing also enjoyed remarkable success, finishing third overall with 77 points. She placed in the top five in nine races and in the top three in seven of those. Billing showed her versatility in all kinds of winds, as each day of the three-day regatta posed gusts of different strengths.

    “It was all about being able to adjust quickly to what the conditions were,” Billing said. “There were light winds the first day, medium winds the second day, and the last day was really windy.”

    Next weekend is the final one of the fall season. Both the coed and women’s teams will compete in the Atlantic Coast Championships. The coeds will be in Cambridge, Mass. on the Charles River while the women’s team will travel to Long Island.

  11. SAILING | Bulldogs succeed despite snow

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    In spite of frigid weather conditions for much of the weekend, the No. 1 coed and women’s sailing teams took care of business, each qualifying for the Atlantic Coast Championships (ACCs), which match the best teams of the East Coast against each other. The ACCs will take place the weekend of Nov. 12. The coed team sailed in two other regattas, winning one and placing both third and seventh in the other.

    The coeds were active on three fronts, but their most important engagement was the MIT-hosted Erwin Schell Trophy at which they finished third. A qualifier for the coed ACCs, the top seven finishers out of 18 will represent New England at Harvard in a fortnight’s time to round out the fall season for college sailing.

    At the Erwin Schell Trophy, the top three places were tightly contested. The Bulldogs finished just four points out of first place and two points out of second. In A division, skipper and captain Joe Morris ’12 and crews Isabel Elliman ’12 and Heather May ’13 combined to finish third, with nine top-five finishes out of 18 races. May, who crewed races three through 18, credited the team’s good showing to its persistence.

    “It really came down to having the mentality of fighting till the end,” she said. “In such a long regatta with so many races, sticking to it and giving our all really helped.”

    Many of the freshmen on the coed team were occupied this weekend at the Nickerson Trophy, the New England Freshman Championships, hosted by Connecticut College on the Thames River. The Bulldogs crushed their 10 opponents, placing first by a massive 31 points through just 11 races in two divisions. In A division, skipper Graham Landy ’15 teamed with crew Katherine Gaumond ’15 to win the division by 20 points. Over the 11 races, the pair accrued 28 points, including just one finish outside the top five. Landy cited his familiarity with crew Gaumond when explaining how the pair was able to adapt to the shifting winds.

    “I think Kate and I have been sailing together a lot lately so we’ve learned to work with each other in all types of breezes,” he said. “Despite our size we were able to keep control when the wind was heavy and we were able to take advantage of our strength — our lightness — when the breeze was thin.”

    In B division, skipper Morgan Kiss ’15 and crews William Feldman ’14 and Sarah Smith ’15 won with similar dominance, racking up just 26 points from 11 races, never finishing out of the top five. The Bulldogs’ victory in this regatta bodes well for the future of Yale sailing.

    Also of note was the presence of sophomore crew Feldman at this freshman regatta. Several teams were able to bring an upperclassman to the regatta because of concerns about the extreme conditions. Feldman, a hulking sophomore, ensured that Kiss’ boat would stay under control in the races on choppier water. Besides, Feldman said, “I’m a freshman at heart.”

    Also this weekend, the coed team hosted the 2nd Dave Perry Trophy in Branford, Conn. Both Dartmouth and Yale fielded two teams each, so the two schools combined to form half of the regatta of eight teams. Nonetheless, the two teams of Bulldogs had varying levels of success, finishing third and seventh out of eight. One of the skippers for the third-place finishers, Max Nickbarg ’12, pointed out the difficulties posed by the turbulent weather, especially on Saturday.

    “On Saturday when it snowed, it was a full whiteout from the blizzard, so you couldn’t see any of the marks,” he said.

    The No. 1 women’s team sailed in only one regatta this weekend, the Victorian Urn hosted by Harvard on the Charles River, which was the qualifier for the women’s ACCs. As the top seven teams out of 18 qualified, the Bulldogs’ fifth-place finish secured a spot at the ACCs in two weeks’ time, which the New York Maritime Academy will host.

    The Elis’ fifth-place result left them just three points out of third. The regatta was sailed in two divisions, with 12 races completed in each. In A division, two teams split the sailing duties to finish a respectable sixth: skipper Claire Dennis ’13 and crew Margot Benedict ’12 finished no higher than fifth in any of their six races. The other team of skipper Marlena Fauer ’14 and Eugenia Custo Greig ’14 fared better, finishing in the top five in four of their six races. In B, skipper Emily Billing ’13 and crew Amanda Salvesen ’14 combined for second place. The pair finished in the top five in seven of the 12 races of the regatta. Salvesen attributed much of the pair’s success to its patience.

    “We did our best by just trying to stay consistent,” she said. “In a lot of races, instead of going for first, we settled for fifth. We were happy with top-five finishes because the fleet was being so inconsistent.”

    Next weekend, Cam Cullman ’13 will travel to Chicago to compete in the Men’s Singlehanded National Championships, for which he qualified earlier this fall. His women’s team counterparts, Dennis and Billing, will do the same for the Women’s Singlehanded National Championships next weekend.