MIDDLESEX, U.K. - The 2013 BUSA-ICSA Tour concluded this Wednesday with the Performance Sailcraft Trophy held at the Queen Mary Sailing Club. This was the final event of the five-event tour of American college sailors through Great Britain. Senior captain of the Yale coed sailing team Chris Segerblom was a member of the American squad that finished the tour with an undefeated record against the British, winning all five events.
The first regatta was the Thomas Lipton Trophy hosted by Oxford Sailing Club. The event was a three-boat team racing regatta held in Fireflies. Fireflies are a two-person dinghy commonly sailed in England but not often found in the United States. Segerblom and the other Americans had only competed in the Firefly during regattas held at MIT, the only American university with a full fleet. However, this unfamiliarity with the class did not show, and the ICSA team won all five of the races of the Thomas Lipton Trophy.
Team ICSA then won both the Lord John King Trophy and the British American Trophy. ICSA dominated with a 4-0 and 5-0 record at each event respectively. Segerblom commented that the British American Trophy was his favorite event, enjoying the venue at Weymouth and the Elliot 6 Meter class.
The West Kirby Invitational was another three-boat team race held by the West Kirby Sailing Club. American coach Tim King noted, "in comparison to the first 3v3 match, the ICSA improved starting." With this improvement, the Americans won the first four races, but in race five the BUSA Team took their first win of the series. The Americans quickly bounced back and won the final race of the day with a 1-2-5.
Finally, the tour finished with the Performance Sailcraft Trophy. Hosted by the Queen Mary Sailing Club, this Laser team race was a unique event for the tour. According to Segerblom, this event was also the most competitive, due to the fact that Segerblom hadn't been in a Laser in four years, and the British team had three sailors who had just returned from sailing the Laser Junior Worlds. However, the closer racing and more physical demands of sailing a Laser made the racing more enjoyable, and Team ICSA finished the series with another win.
Despite their dominant victories in the official matches, Segerblom was quick to point out that the team "did plenty of unofficial scrimmages against other teams that really pushed us. I've definitely learned a lot from both the people that we've met as well as my teammates." Furthermore, the tour gave Segerblom the opportunity to discuss the racing rules of sailing with international judges, who "offered quite a different perspective from the umps at home."
With this additional practice and new point of view, Segerblom is all the more ready to lead the Bulldogs to another successful season.
Report filed by Katherine Gaumond '15, Yale Sports Publicity