Bulldogs Win Fleet Race National Championship
ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. – Fresh off the victory at the APS Team Race National Championship, the Yale coed sailing team took home a second national championship this week, winning the Gill Coed Dinghy National Championship.
The Bulldogs competed for two days at St. Mary's, sailing in 15 races, with A and B division rotating in FJs and 420s. Sailing for Yale these two days in A division was junior skipper Graham Landy with crews senior Eugenia Custo Greig and junior Katherine Gaumond. In B division was freshman skipper Ian Barrows with senior crews Marlena Fauer and Amanda Salvesen.
Nine races in A division and 10 races in B division were completed on the first day of sailing. The Bulldogs had a day of consistent sailing, especially in B division, in difficult shifty conditions. They ended the day with an over forty-point lead on second-place Tufts. Yale was in second place in A division, and first in B division.
However, there was plenty of racing to be had on Friday. Racing began early Friday morning in another light and volatile Norhtwesterly, before slowly dying for another wind delay. Luckily a steadier Westerly filled in the afternoon with the breeze peaking at 12 knots. In these conditions the Bulldogs were able to showcase their boat speed especially.
B division kept up its incredibly low average, never finishing outside the top five on the second day. However the A division sailors picked up their already consistent performance, winning four of the six races on Friday.
Commenting on all their bullets on the second day, Landy said, "I think we had a better read on the racecourse on Friday. Our tactical decisions were very strong. We definitely had a boat speed advantage in those conditions, so starting conservatively allowed us to post a consistent score line." These bullets at the end of the regatta propelled the Bulldogs to win A division by 27 points.
Barrows, Fauer and Salvesen sailed a remarkable regatta in B division. They finished outside of the top-five once over the entire championship, winning their division by 57 points and averaging a 3.33 across 15 races. Barrows says "The key to staying consistent was making low risk decisions and keeping calm if things weren't going your way. Not going for the win every race and settling for top fives was important."
Together, the Bulldogs won the national championship by an unprecedented 87 points over second-place Georgetown. No team has won both divisions at this national championship since Harvard in 2003, and Yale has not won this championship in over 25 years.
Speaking about the back-to-back team racing and fleet racing national championship's his team won this season, McNay Family Director of Sailing Zack Leonard '89 commented "When you go to a big event as a coach, you have in your mind an idea what it will look like if things are going well, and you have your concerns of what could make it difficult as a team, these last two events went even better than what you could daydream as a coach of the perfect regatta. We performed at the very top of our potential."
ESPNU will be airing coverage of this championship on Friday, July 11 at 7 p.m. ET, Saturday, July 12 at 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. ET and Sunday, July 13 at 8 a.m. See full results at http://scores.collegesailing.org/s14/gill-national-finals/.
Report filed by Katherine Gaumond '15, Yale Sports Publicity