BRANFORD, Conn. – The Yale coed sailing team started the season with strong performances across New England, winning the 74th Pine Trophy, taking a close second at the Harry Anderson and placing eighth at the Mount Hope Bay Invitational.
At the McNay Family Sailing Center, a steady 8-16 knot easterly breeze filled the race course on Saturday. On Sunday, an unstable northerly with large gusts and shifts added a level of difficulty the racing.
Despite the wide range of conditions, the Bulldogs sailed to second-place finishes in both A and B division. Sailing A were sophomore skipper Nic Baird with senior crews Chandler Gregoire and Isabelle Rossi de Leon. In B was the senior duo of Mitchell Kiss and Clara Robertson. With their scores combined, the Bulldogs placed second overall, just 14 points behind the No. 3 Boston College Eagles.
The Pine Trophy was a comeback story. After the first two races on Saturday, the Bulldogs sat in seventh place in a fleet of eight boats. With this score, they would not have earned a spot at the New England Match Racing Championship, which they would need to attend to have the opportunity to qualify for the National Championship. They improved steadily throughout the day, improving their score nearly every race to end the day in third overall.
The Bulldogs were ready to dominate on Sunday. They had learned from their mistakes and felt more cohesive as a team. The same group of four that sailed on Saturday – senior skipper Ian Barrows with crew juniors Chris Champa and Malcolm Lamphere and sophomore Nick Hernandez – would compete on Sunday.
They had an exceptional day, quickly moving into the first place spot and ultimately winning the event. They won five of the last six races and never placed outside of the top half of the fleet. With this result, the Bulldogs earned a berth to the New England Championship.
At the Mt. Hope Bay Invitational, the Bulldogs placed eighth overall. Together, junior skipper Claire Huebner and senior crew Amelia Dobronyi placed seventh in A division. In B, senior skipper Charles Skoda with sophomore crew Claire Rossi de Leon placed 13th.
To see full results, visit http://scores.collegesailing.org/f16/.
Report filed by Natalya Doris '17, Yale Sports Publicity