NEW HAVEN, Conn. – This weekend, junior Urska Kosir will represent the No. 1 Yale women's sailing team on the national stage. She will compete at the ICSA Women's Singlehanded National Championship in Newport, R.I., which she qualified for by finishing third at the New England Singlehanded Championship one month ago.
The nationals will be sailed in laser radials—best known as the women's Olympic class dinghy. Prior to college, Kosir had significant experience in a boat similar to the radial. In her home country of Slovenia, she used to sail laser 4.7s—a boat with the same hull as the laser radial but one square meter less sail area. In fact, in 2009 Kosir won the Laser 4.7 World Championship in Buzios, Brazil.
Kosir has established herself as one of the Yale women's sailing team's most versatile players. This year she is the only member of the team to compete in both singlehanded and doublehanded events. Also, in doublehanded boats she is one of a select few that both skipper and crew. She has been working overtime this fall to practice in the laser radial in addition to FJ and 420 practices with the team.
Yale has a history of strong results at the women's singlehanded nationals. The Bulldogs have finished in the top three every year since 2009. However, the team's two best singlehanded sailors graduated last spring, leaving Kosir with big boots to fill.
Kosir said that she is not focused on the final result this weekend though. "I want to keep it simple," she said. "I will be focusing on each race as it comes."
This regatta approach has worked out well for her so far this season. Kosir has not finished outside of the top four in any regatta that she has entered. In addition to finishing third at the New England Championship, she also got to race laser radials at the Women's Navy Fall Intersectional where she helped the team to an overall victory by finishing fourth in C division.
Beyond putting in extra time on the water, Kosir has also been on a regimented diet and fitness plan over the past month. She is smaller than much of her competition will be at the nationals and hopes to make up for that by being stronger. The laser radial is a physically-demanding boat and the weekend wind forecasts are favoring the fittest sailors.
Forecasts are calling for westerly winds around 12 knots on Saturday, increasing to 18 knots for Sunday. With 18 races scheduled, competitors are in for a test of both mind and body.
Results can be followed using this link.
Report filed by Chris Segerblom '14, Yale Sports Publicity