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Yale Sailing


The Yale Corinthian Yacht Club, established in 1881, is the oldest collegiate sailing club in the world. Located on a beautiful rocky cove in Branford, CT., the club is a state of the art sailing facility and home to the Yale Varsity Sailing Team. The fleet consists of twenty 420 racing dinghies, augmented by fleets of FJs, Lasers, and three safety launches. Our sailing area is located on open water and boasts what may be the finest wind and waves in all of college sailing. The Yale varsity sailing program is one of the top teams in the Nation. In 2009 Yale won the Women’s National Championship, was 2nd at the Co-ed Dinghy Nationals and won the Fowle Trophy for team of the Year in college sailing.  The Yale Sailing Team has produced scores of All-Americans, World Champions and Olympic Medalists in its long history. In fact, Yale sailors have represented the US in each Olympics since 1992. The team is supported by an active alumni organization and full-time racing coaches, Zack Leonard and Bill Healy. In addition, the Yacht Club has recently undergone a renovation that replaced the aging club with a brand new club house. Scroll down for pictures of the renovated clubhouse.


Each weekend of the season the Yale Sailing Team enters as many as 8 events and most weekends we host an event at home. The events run the gamut from two-day, Varsity intersectionals, where the top college sailors in the country shoot it out, to one-day, minor events designed for beginning racers to hone their skills. Yale is a member of the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association or NEISA. NEISA is packed with top ranked sailing schools, which makes for great weekend racing at many sites not far from New Haven. Varsity Sailing is open to all Yale Students who are interested in racing. We attract top National Youth Racers who choose Yale to help develop their sailing skills, beginning racers, and everyone in between. Many sailors aiming at Olympic classes choose Yale for the excellent training conditions our venue provides. The team practices Tuesday through Friday from 2:30 to 6:00. Most team members are able to sail 3 or 4 days a week if they schedule their classes carefully. We typically have 12 to 18 boats on the line at practice.  Our goal is to provide a fun but challenging racing atmosphere for a wide variety of sailors.

Our fleet consists of 18 Laser Performance Z420s, 18 Laser Performance FJs and 3 Lasers which we replace every 5 years. The new sailing center houses locker rooms, repair and maintenance facilities, coaches offices, a large team room/classroom and an apartment with a kitchen for visiting sailors and our summer program manager. The sailing conditions on Long Island Sound in the spring and fall are second to none. 505 and 420 World Champion Steve Taylor once described Yale's sailing facility as the finest training facility in the US. Indeed, many of our top sailors take advantage of the fantastic waves and open water sailing conditions to improve their one design-sailing in addition to their college racing. Many Yale sailors aspire to Olympic sailing and bring 470s, lasers, 49ers or other high performance boats to school where they can train in their spare time.

Coaching Staff


McNay Family Director of Sailing

Zachary Leonard

Zack Leonard has been the Head Varsity Sailing Coach at Yale since 2002. Leonard has led the program to four national championships and to the 2009 Fowle Trophy for team of the year in college sailing. As an undergraduate at Yale, Leonard was named an All-American and served as the captain of the sailing team. Leonard started his collegiate coaching career in 1987 when he led the US Coast Guard Academy varsity sailing team during a leave of absence from Yale.  From 1989 to 1992 he was head sailing coach at Brown University where the team won a Fowle Trophy. After a break from coaching, Leonard returned to Yale in the fall of 2000. Under his guidance, the Yale team began to steadily climb the national rankings. In 2002 the team was promoted from club to varsity status. During his tenure at Yale Leonard has led the team to four ICSA National Championships and a total of 15 finishes in the top three positions at the national championships. Most recently, in the spring of 2009, Leonard coached the Bulldogs to a women's national championship and the Fowle Trophy for overall team of the year. Since 2004 the Yale sailing team has produced 32 All-American Sailors. Yale student-athletes have also been successful in Olympic level competition. Isabelle Kinsolving '02 represented the United States in the 2004 Athens Olympics in the Women's 470 class, finishing 5th, while Stuart McNay '05  and Thomas Barrows '10 represented the United States and US Virgin Islands at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Leonard is a 4 time US Team Racing Championship (Hinman Trophy) and the UK Team Racing Champion (Wilson Trophy). He’s won US and Canadian National Championships in the Tornado and a US title in the Vanguard 15. Outside college coaching, Leonard has served as the head coach of the US International 420 team since 2001, a coach of the US Olympic Sailing team at a number of world championships and a coach for the US squad at the 1993 Goodwill Games. Leonard was named the 2006 National Coach of the Year by US Sailing's Olympic Sailing Committee and currently serves as a member of the US Olympic Sailing Committee. 


William Healy

Bill Healy is a graduate of St. Mary's College of Maryland where he earned a B.A.  in Economics. Healy was a top member of the St. Mary's team and earned All-American Honors in 1991 and '93 and also earned Honorable mention All-American honors in 1992.  After graduation Bill became the Varsity Dinghy coach for the US Coast Guard Academy from 1996-2000.  After a short stint outside the coaching world, Bill became the Assistant sailing coach for the Bulldogs in 2004.

Since then the Elis have won four National Championships and three Ivy Championships.  Healy is also an accomplished sailor. Having won just about every major U.S. International 420 regatta Healy is a perfect match for the fleet of Yale 420's.  In 1994 Healy was a member of the US Sailing 470 Team and is National, North American or Mid-Winter champions in 5 different sailing classes.


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