NORKFOLK, Va. – The No. 6 Yale coed sailing team won the Western Semifinals this weekend sailing in Norkfolk, Va., at a regatta hosted by Hampton. This victory qualifies the Bulldogs for the Gill/ICSA Coed Dinghy National Championships this May.
Sophomore skipper Graham Landy with crews senior Heather May and junior Eugenia Custo Greig won A division by three points over Georgetown, winning four of the thirteen races, and placing top five in ten races. Skippers senior Cameron Cullman and junior captain Chris Segerblom sailed with freshman crew Charlotte Belling in B division and finished third, only eight points out of first. Both divisions were sailing FJs.
The wind was a steady five to ten knots on Saturday. Landy commented that because of the strong current, "it was important to get off the line well to have an opportunity to play the shifts." At the end of the day, Yale was in first place, with only a slim margin over second-place Georgetown.
Sunday saw bigger breeze, maxing out at 13 knots with continuing current. Going into the final race, only seven points separated Yale and second-place Georgetown. It came down to the finish. Georgetown's B division won the final race, but Segerblom and Belling finished sixth, securing the win for Yale by just one point. Segerblom said going into the final race he and Belling "focused on getting a good start and sailing our own race. Georgetown came out aggressive at the start and sailed a great race but we managed to keep it close enough for the win." Belling agreed, saying that it was key "to make sure we didn't lose sight of the other boats on the course."
This win not only qualifies Yale to Nationals, but gives Yale important points for the Fowle Trophy. In fact, performance at semifinals is counted more than Match Racing Nationals in that final tally.
Next weekend, the Bulldogs will return to team racing. They will sail the New England Team Racing Championships in an attempt to qualify for Team Racing Nationals as well.
Report filed by Katherine Gaumond '15, Yale Sports Publicity