Nine Bulldogs took home All-American awards, the most prestigious honors in college sailing, and another was rewarded an honorable mention. The All-American team has three categories, one for women's skippers, one for coed skippers and one for crews in all disciplines. Freshman Louisa Nordstrom, who won the B division by 40 points at the nationals, and junior Casey Klingler took two of ten women's spots on the team. Sophomore Nic Baird and seniors Ian Barrows and Mitchell Kiss were three of 11 coed skippers to join the team. No other team has more than two skippers in either the women's or coed categories. Barrows won the A divison at most regattas and the fall, and led the Yale team racing team, which never finished worse than second at an event, for the entirety of the spring. Freshman Graceann Nicolosi and seniors Natalya Doris, Clara Robertson, and Isabelle Rossi de Leon were each All-American crews, four of 18 spots and, again, the most of any team.
For Nicolosi, making the team as a freshman is a very rare and extremely impressive honor. Doris and Robertson were both honorable mention last year, and Rossi de Leon's naming to the team represents her climb from nearly no racing experience before college to an extraordinary performance at the nationals, guiding a freshman skipper throughout the year where the duo would win their division by a considerbale margin. Senior Chandler Gregoire was also recognized as an honorable mention crew.
Having each graduating class represented on the All-American team signals the depth of the Yale team and a promising future. Class of 2020 sailor Nordstrom notes: "It feels great that all the hard work [the freshman class has] put in this year paid off. It's an honor to be recognized among so many other talented sailors, and it's inspiring to be competing at the same level as many juniors an seniors."
Though six of the 10 recognized sailors will be graduating, the team will continue a culture of excellency. Nicolosi also comments on her own award and the future of the team, "having so many skilled senior crews from all backgrounds of sailing has been really motivating for me all year. I just worked hard every day during practice to do the best I could to compete with my teammates, and they pushed me to be better every day. I hope to also one day be that inspiration for someone on the team."
For the senior class, having more than half win All-American honors was a positive and nostalgic way to leave Yale sailing.
Rossi de Leon left this note for the team: "it has been a phenomenal year for all the seniors, and I'm so proud of our class' sailing from freshman year until now. It is so exciting to see the ICSA (Inter Collegiate Sailing Association) honor so many of us with All-American awards. It is a testament to our high quality coaching that several sailors with little experience in college sailing boats, crewing, and even competitive sailing in general have earned these honors. Huge thank you to my fellow seniors for teaching me so much, to Louisa Nordstrom for being my sailing partner all year, and to Bill Healy for helping us get the win."
Four time All-American senior Barrows won the Everett B. Morris Trophy for the Marlow Ropes College Sailor of the Year for the best performance in college sailing this year, beating out finalists, teammate Baird, brother of last year's winner Patrick Snow, Olympian and winner of the A division at nationals Stephano Preschiera and three time world champion Erika Reineke.
Barrows comments on his win: "What I love about college sailing is the atmosphere, the friends I have made and have grown up sailing with and seeing familiar faces every weekend. It's awesome to have such a big group of friends in the sailing community." Barrows thanked his crews, Doris, senior Meredith Megarry and Robertson for sailing with him through the years and his team "for always helping me out when I was in trouble."
Past winners of this award are now some of the biggest names in sailing, from Olympians to professional sailors, to multiple time world champions. Barrows will continue sailing after college with teammate Kiss in the Olympic 49er class.
Klingler was a finalist for the Quantum Women's Sailor of the Year award.
A list of the All-American team can be found at http://collegesailing.org/hall-of-fame/all-american/2017-all-american-sailing-team
Report filed by Nic Baird '19, Yale Sports Publicity