ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. – The Yale coed sailing team won the APS Team Race National Championship today for the Walter C. Wood Trophy. After three long days of racing, the team finished with a dominant 22-3 record. This is the second year in a row that Yale has won this national championship.
The Bulldogs began today with three races left in the top eight round robin. With a steady sea breeze racing started immediately. The second-place team going into today, St. Mary's, had six losses, so the Bulldogs were already qualified for the final four round as well. In fact, because of their performance the past two days, the Bulldogs only had to win two of their next six races to clinch the championship title.
Yale first faced Roger Williams, winning all three pairs right off the line and sailing away to finish in a 1-2-4. Next, the team raced Navy, knowing that winning this race would win them the national championship before even starting the final four. There was some difficulty sorting on the first beat, but again the Bulldogs' boat speed worked to their favor to finish in a 1-2-3.
With this 20th win, Yale secured the Walter C. Wood Trophy regardless of the outcome of their next four races. This is the first time a team has won the title before the final four in at least eight years according to the ICSA. Coach Bill Healy commented "since we were just taking it race by race, it just kind of happened [clinching the regatta]."
After facing St. Mary's, the Bulldogs went through the competitive top eight round robin totally undefeated. Moving into the top four, senior skipper Max Nickbarg with freshman crews Natalya Doris and Meredith Megarry subbed into for freshman skipper Ian Barrows and senior crew Marlena Fauer. Yale then lost to Stanford and St. Mary's, and took a win from Boston College.
Senior skipper Chris Segerblom says the national championship "was a true team victory, a lot of the time we managed to start ahead and use our speed to stay there but the key was that when we were behind we kept our composure and trusted in each other to execute whatever play needed to happen."
Fauer agreed that "once we all got off the line, we were able to use our speed and position to execute the move ups that were needed to win, but what we really did a great job of was knowing exactly when we need to fleet race and when to team race, which is important in a tricky venue like St. Mary's."
Sailing for the Bulldogs the past three days were skippers seniors Segerblom and Nickbarg, junior captain Graham Landy and freshman Barrows with crews seniors Eugenia Custo Greig, Fauer and Amanda Salvesen, junior Katherine Gaumond, sophomore Charlotte Belling and freshmen Doris and Megarry.
In the end, St Mary's finished in second place with an 18-7 record, and Stanford close behind in third with a 17-8 record. Full results can be found at http://scores.collegesailing.org/s14/aps-team-race-national/full-scores/.
Tomorrow, the Bulldogs will begin competing in the ICSA Western Semifinals to try to qualify for the Gill Dinghy Coed National Championship.
Report filed by Katherine Gaumond '15, Yale Sports Publicity