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Bulldogs Finish Second at New England Championship

Klingler and Knapp sailing upwind at the Women's New Englands.
Klingler and Knapp sailing upwind at the Women's New Englands.

NEW HAVEN, CONN. – Conditions were not ideal at the Reed Trophy this weekend, with the Bulldogs falling short of claiming the New England title by 22 points.

Saturday's racing was extremely challenging, with the first several races being run in a northwesterly breeze that could shift as much as sixty degrees on the legs.  Often times the conservative move would not always pay towards the top of the windward beat. With the course being so close to shore, large puffs would filter down from the hills and fill on the very edges of the last ten boat lengths of the upwind, allowing boats to quickly pass from either edge. Choosing the final windward mark entry was imperative to remaining in the top. It was very much a day of keeping the head out of the boat to look for strange puffs that would roll down the course. Racing was postponed for a bit when conditions became unstable. At the end of the day, the northerly finally died and a southerly filled for the final few races of the day.

With such terrible conditions on Saturday, everyone hoped that higher temperatures on Sunday might result in the southerly filling earlier. Despite everyone's hopes, the breeze was so shifty that seven races were started and abandoned over the course of the day. After over six hours of waiting on the water, only two races could be sailed in each division. Nordstrom and Nicolosi were dialed into the conditions on the second day, moving up to second place in B division with two top two finishes and were often leading the races that got called back.

Although the Bulldogs fell short of their goal of winning the Women's New England Championship, they sailed well throughout the event and were still able to come in second in a very competitive fleet. Senior skipper Casey Klingler sailing with crews senior KB Knapp and first-year Claudia Loiacono finished 4th in a very tight A division. Sophomore skipper Louisa Nordstrom and crews senior Claire Huebner and sophomore Graceann Nicolosi were 11 points away from winning B division.

With this weekend behind them, the Bulldogs will now transition to practice for the Women's Team Race Nationals Invitational this coming weekend at MIT. With ten weekends down, the hard work of the team is showing. Although a very limited number of sailors get to actually compete in the end of season championship, it takes an entire team to get to nationals. Now with a spot in the semifinals, the Bulldogs will travel to Old Dominion University to defend their national title.

More information can be found at https://scores.collegesailing.org/s18/neisa-women-reed/.

Report filed by KB Knapp '18, Yale Sports Publicity