Sarah Lihan ’10 and Stu McNay ’05 concluded racing in their events at the 2012 Olympic Games this past weekend. Lihan, who sailed with Connecticut College graduate Amanda Clark in the women’s 470 class, entered Saturday’s medal race in ninth place out of 20 nations and that is where she ultimately finished. McNay and his crew, Graham Biehl, missed qualifying for the men’s 470 medal race by a mere five points, solidifying them in 14th place out of 27 nations after 10 races.
As undergraduates, Yale alumni Sarah Lihan ’10 and Stuart McNay ’05 proved themselves to be some of America’s best collegiate sailors, garnering numerous ICSA All-American and honorable mention awards and leading Yale to several top finishes at the nationals. Now, just a few years out of college, these Bulldogs find themselves at home amongst 380 of the world’s best sailors at the Olympic sailing village in Weymouth, England.
After 13 races over the course of three hot days on Lake Travis, the final results of the ICSA Women’s National Championship are finally in. At the 18-school regatta, the Yale women’s sailing team, previously ranked No. 3 in the nation, took second place overall, just four points behind the victorious Boston College Eagles.
The No. 3 Yale women’s sailing team is currently in third place in the standings at the ICSA Women’s National Championship, which is taking place on Lake Travis. Racing began at noon on Thursday, but just six races have been completed in both A and B division since then. Unstable winds caused the race committee to have to postpone racing ashore for three hours on Friday.
After nearly three weeks spent living on the Old Campus and practicing out of the McNay Family Sailing Center in Branford, Conn., the No. 3 Yale women’s sailing team finally departed New Haven early on Wednesday morning for Austin, Texas—the site of the 2012 ICSA Women’s National Dinghy Championship. Racing at the nationals is scheduled to begin at noon on Thursday, May 31, and continue through June 2.
By finishing second at the New England Championship this weekend, the No. 4 Yale women’s sailing team earned itself a berth at the ICSA Women’s National Championship, which is to take place in Austin, Texas, on May 31st through June 2nd. While second place guarantees that the Bulldogs have a spot at the nationals, those teams that finished third through seventh at the New England Championship will have to race at a semifinal regatta on May 30th. The top nine finishers at the semifinals will meet the Bulldogs and eight other prequalified teams on the national championship starting line on May 31st.
This weekend the Yale women’s sailing team, currently ranked No. 4 in the nation, will race to keep its season alive. The Bulldogs will be competing against 17 other schools at the New England Championship, which serves as the district’s qualifier for the ICSA Women’s National Championship. At the end of the weekend, seven New England teams will move on. The top two teams will earn themselves nonstop tickets to the nationals while the third through seventh place teams will have to race at the ICSA Women’s Semifinal Regatta to secure nationals berths.
Until this weekend, the No.3 Yale women’s sailing team had yet to finish outside of the top five in any regatta this season. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs were not so successful this weekend at the Emily Wick Trophy. They finished 10th out of 17 teams at the regatta, which was hosted by the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. With the Women’s New England Championship just one week away, Yale sailing fans are hoping that this regatta was just the team’s chance to get out all of the bad before their national championship qualifier.
With the Women’s New England Championship less than 10 days away, the No. 3 Yale women’s sailing team has one final regular season regatta before the points really begin to matter. That last opportunity to work the kinks out is this weekend at the Emily Wick Trophy which will be hosted this weekend by the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. After a dominant victory at last weekend’s interconference regatta, the Bulldogs are looking to add to their momentum as they sail into the post-season.
Over the course of the past few weeks, the Yale women’s sailing team slipped from No. 1 to No. 3 in the national rankings after holding the top spot for more than six months. The Bulldogs appear to have been determined to reverse that trend this weekend though. In a smaller fleet than usual, but in some of the most challenging conditions, the Bulldogs sailed to a dominant 34-point victory at the President’s Trophy Regatta, hosted by Boston University.
Three weekends remain in the No. 3 Yale women’s sailing team’s regular spring season. This weekend the Bulldogs will head to Boston, Mass., to race in the 44th Women’s President’s Interconference Regatta. The regatta will be hosted by Boston University with racing taking place on the Charles River, in FJs.
After last weekend’s team racing diversion, the No. 2 Yale women’s sailing team will return to fleet racing this weekend by sending a team to the 26th Brad Dellenbaugh Women’s Interconference Regatta, hosted by Brown University. Last year the Bulldogs took second at the Dellenbaugh Regatta. This year they are looking to improve on that result and reassert themselves as one of the top teams in the nation.
Most of college sailing’s top female sailors were present at the Duplin Trophy Team Race Regatta this weekend, hosted by Tufts University. After three rounds, the No. 2 Yale women’s sailing team finished third overall. The Bulldogs lost a tiebreaker for second to the Roger Williams University Hawks and finished just one win behind the victorious Boston College Eagles.
Team racing, as opposed to fleet racing, is a more action-packed, tournament style of sailboat racing. This weekend, the Yale women’s sailing team, now ranked No. 2 in the nation, is headed to race in the Duplin Trophy Team Race Regatta, hosted by Tufts University. While team race regattas are prevalent on the coed ICSA spring calendar, this is the one women-only team race of the year.
The No. 1 Yale women’s sailing team sat fourth in the overall standings going into Sunday’s racing at the St. Mary’s Interconference Regatta, but in just a few races it was able to jump to a second place overall final result. The late push was led by Yale’s B division boat which had all top-three finishes in its last four races on Sunday.
During its second week of spring break, the No. 1 Yale women’s sailing team finally got some real vacation. Able to take their minds off sailing for a little while, team members went their separate ways to spend time with family and friends for four days. On Friday though, the Bulldogs are scheduled to continue where they left off, in Annapolis, Md. The women’s team will hit the water on Friday for a day of practice to prepare for this weekend’s Interconference regatta at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
After its week of training down in Florida, the No. 1 Yale women’s sailing team returned to competition this weekend. In difficult conditions on Annapolis’ Severn River, the Bulldogs finished fifth out of 20 teams at the Navy Women’s Interconference Regatta hosted by the US Naval Academy.
The No. 1 Yale women’s sailing team has been practicing in St. Petersburg, Fla., since March fourth, the beginning of Yale’s two-week spring recess. Last year the Bulldogs also spent their break in St. Pete training with the University of South Florida Bulls, but the team reports that this year was especially “productive.” At a team meeting after practice on Thursday, varsity head coach and McNay Family Director of Sailing, Zachary Leonard ’89, remarked that the sailors and coaches had “accomplished everything that [they] were looking to accomplish” during their Florida training sessions. Now the team is headed back north for the weekend to compete at the Navy Women’s Spring Interconference Regatta, hosted by the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
The No. 1 Yale women’s sailing team kicked off its spring break this weekend with a second place finish at the Charleston Women’s Interconference Regatta. Weather conditions included a fair amount of rain and colder temperatures than the Bulldogs might have expected after travelling south, but the wind did show up. In fact, both days of racing had to be cut short due to strong winds and thunderstorms. Nonetheless, five races were completed in both A and B division on Saturday and seven more were raced on Sunday.
With the beginning of spring break comes the official beginning of the spring season of competition for the No. 1 Yale women's sailing team. All members of the team will be boarding airplanes on Friday to head south in the direction of St. Petersburg, Fla., where the team traditionally spends its first week of the break training with alumni and sailors from the University of South Florida. However, four Bulldogs will be stopping in Charleston, S.C., on the way in order to compete at the Charleston Women's Interconference regatta this weekend. An additional four team members will be going straight to St. Pete with the rest of the team, but rather than simply start training, they will compete at the Eckerd Interconference Regatta this weekend.
Four members of the No. 1 Yale women’s sailing team spent this past weekend in St. Petersburg, Fla., competing at the first official regatta of the spring collegiate sailing season, where they finished fourth overall. 10 teams were represented at the regatta, allowing for the event to be sailed in a combined division format. Racing A and B division together made for more boats on the starting line and allowed the race organizers from the University of South Florida to run many more races than they would have otherwise been able to. 16 races were completed over the course of the two days.
From September to November, the full length of the fall season, the Yale women’s sailing team held on to its No. 1 national ranking. The Buldogs did so in spite of remarkably unstable wind conditions which plagued many of the season’s weekend regattas. Numerous regattas were decided by merely four or six very light and variable races or were not decided at all due to too little or too much wind altogether. Nonetheless, the Bulldogs found a way to perform consistently in the face of consistently challenging conditions and competition. Now, after a three month offseason, the team is preparing to get back out on the water and try to pick up where it left off. Four team members are headed to Tampa, Fla., this weekend to compete at the first women’s intersectional of the spring season.
Earlier this week the Yale coed and women’s varsity sailing teams convened in private to carry out a sacred ritual. The teams held their annual elections to determine who will serve as their team captains for the coming year. There were four very qualified candidates in the running for the women’s team captain, but a majority vote has elected junior skipper Emily Billing to lead the No. 1 ranked team in the country. She will be replacing outgoing senior captain Margot Benedict.
Junior Claire Dennis, a member of the Yale women’s varsity sailing team, returned to campus on Sunday after a week of competitive racing at the annual Olympic Classes Regatta in Miami, Fla. This was one of the fairly rare opportunities that Dennis has had to continue her international-level sailing since she entered college. She made the comment that “it took a little bit of time to get used to the Olympic style courses again.”
Junior Claire Dennis is competing down at the Miami Olympic Classes Regatta this week against a competitive international laser radial fleet, which includes many Olympians. All of the US Olympic representatives for 2012 are at the regatta; however, not many American teams had better combined scores than Dennis in yesterday’s two races, especially if considering the difference in size and level of competition across the various classes.
The ISAF Sailing World Championships concluded on Sunday the 18th after two straight weeks of competition between some of the best sailors in the world. With the Olympics a mere eight months away, the stakes at this year’s ISAF worlds were higher than usual for many athletes. For the American competitors this was particularly true, seeing as the event served to either make or break their Olympic dreams. The event’s results have determined which individual sailors will represent the United States at the 2012 Olympic Games. Of the 12 that made the cut, two of them are recent graduates of Yale College.
For athletes with dreams of representing their nation at the Olympic Games, the last three and a half years, if not more, have been spent toiling on the campaign trail. For America’s top Olympic-minded sailors, all of that hard work has been focused on achieving peak performance at an event that begins this weekend- the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Championships. Beyond serving as the primary event at which sailors can qualify their country for a berth at the Olympics, the ISAF Worlds, being held this year in Perth, Australia, serve as the second and final step of the American process for determining which individual sailors will represent the United States at the 2012 games.
After sailing consistently all season and maintaining its No. 1 national ranking, the Yale women’s sailing team iced the cake this weekend at the Women’s Atlantic Coast Championship. The Bulldogs came out strong on Saturday and were battling for the lead early. Going into Sunday they sat second overall, and from then on they sailed to victory.
The fall women’s collegiate sailing season will come to a close at the end of the Women’s Atlantic Coast Championship this weekend. The regatta is to be hosted by the New York Maritime Academy, in Throggs Neck, N.Y. After holding the No. 1 national ranking for virtually the entire season, the Yale women’s sailing team is looking to finish out on top. The team’s results over the past several weekends certainly prove that its members have what it takes to succeed.