NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The No. 2 Yale coed sailing team will sail to qualify for its third national championship this spring, sailing in the New England Team Race Championship hosted by Harvard. The top four finishers from this regatta advance to ICSA Team Race Nationals.
Usually the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association only receives three berths to Team Race Nationals, despite being one of the deepest districts in the country. However, this year some of the smaller districts were not able to field enough teams to host a qualifier, and so an extra berth was allocated to NEISA.
This development is important given how talented the NEISA district is. There are almost always upsets in who qualifies for Team Race Nationals with only three berths. Last year, top-ranked Yale failed to qualify, and the Bulldogs will therefore being looking to redeem themselves on the Charles River this weekend.
This year's team race team has already shown its talent, having won the Marchiando-Friis Team Race and the Southern New England Team Race, and placing second at the Bob Bavier Team Race and the Sharpe Trophy Team Race. In the latest national team race rankings by Sail One Design, the coaches ranked Yale at No. 2. MIT coach Matt Cohen commented that the Bulldogs are "looking dominant in NEISA," and College of Charleston coach Ward Cromwell deemed Yale as "the team to beat in NEISA."
The same skippers that achieved those top finishes will be sailing this weekend: senior Cameron Cullman, junior captain Chris Segerblom and sophomore Graham Landy. They will be joined by a variety of crews to ensure ideal weight combinations for all possible wind conditions. Senior Heather May, juniors Eugenia Custo Greig, Marlena Fauer, Will Feldman, sophomore Katherine Gaumond and freshman Charlotte Belling will crew this weekend.
The team is well-prepared for this weekend's tough racing, especially considering the Bulldogs' standout performance at ICSA Semifinals last weekend. May comments "this past weekend really showed how we can pull together as a team and accomplish our goals. This is the mentality we want going into the team race qualifier, knowing that as a whole we can do really great things."
Racing begins at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. Follow results at http://scores.collegesailing.org/.
Report filed by Katherine Gaumond '15, Yale Sports Publicity