NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Louisa Nordstrom placed 11th in the extremely competitive Laserperformance Women's Singlehanded National Championships. The event, which was held at the Macatawa Bay Yacht Club in Holland, Mich, pitted the nation's most talented female radial sailors against each other in heavy winds and massive swells. Grand Valley State University and Hope College jointly hosted the regatta.
Nordstrom, who is lauded amongst the sailing community as one of the country's most talented sailors, started the weekend on a high note, garnering two straight firsts at the beginning of the regatta. She attributes her early success to the light, wavy, and shifty conditions, which Nordstrom has been known to dominate. While her competitors struggled to navigate the course at first, by the end of the third race the wind had changed significantly. "The wind became a lot stronger and steadier," Nordstrom recalls, "and I wasn't able to keep up with the bigger people in my fleet because they were physically advantaged and sailing really well."
The wind climbed overnight, with lake forecasts peaking at gusts of 40 knots in the morning. The races on Sunday were sailed inside the harbor, where the breeze maintained a steady mid-teens from the southeast with shifty gusts that measured over twenty knots. Nordstrom's physical limitations caused her to struggle to keep her boat flat on the upwinds, but was cleverly able to make "tactical gains by playing the shifts." Nordstrom places 11th at the regatta with 128 points, just 2 behind the next place competitor. 8 races were sailed on Satuday and 6 races were sailed on Sunday. The regatta was held in temperatures that averaged high 30s, frequently dipping into freezing conditions with the glacial windchill.
This regatta, which Nordstrom described as a "physically and mentally grueling weekend," marks the end of the Bulldog's fall season. Only one week of practice remains before the team puts away the 420s and Pjs for the winter, leading them to reflect on the largely triumphant season that was marked by tricky conditions and bolstered by the new additions from the Class of 2022. The Bulldogs would like to thank all of their amazing alumni (and kith/kin) supporters. The spring season begins in early March, and yalebulldogs.com will be updated with exciting anouncements in the interim.
Final results can be found at https://scores.collegesailing.org/f18/laserperformance-women-singlehanded-nationals/.
Report filed by Becca Rose '21, Yale Sports Publicity