NEW HAVEN, Conn. – This weekend, the No. 1 Yale coed sailing team will vie for one of four berths allocated to the New England Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (NEISA) – arguably the most competitive sailing district in the nation – for the 2017 Team Race National Championship. The qualifier will be held on a small lake near Boston, home of the Tufts University Sailing Team.
While the Bulldogs have won the past four Team Race National Championships, they have not won the past four New England Championships, with the exception of the 2016 event. NEISA contains eight of the top 15 teams in the country, according to a poll conducted by college sailing coaches across the nation. For this reason, the New England Championship is considered to be more competitive than the nationals.
The qualifier will be held on Mystic Lake, a venue famous for unpredictable and unstable breeze, in Larks. The Tufts boathouse is the only venue in the nation that has a full fleet of Larks, which are dinghies that are similar in size to those typically sailed by college sailing teams – 420s and FJs – but have large, powerful mainsails and deep, narrow centerboards (see https://sites.tufts.edu/sailing/ for more information).
Eight of the nine Bulldogs sailing this weekend were part of the group that won last year's nationals. These are skippers seniors Ian Barrows and Mitchell Kiss, junior Malcolm Lamphere and sophomore Nic Baird and crews seniors Natalya Doris, Chandler Gregoire and Clara Robertson and junior Christopher Champa. Crew Graceann Nicolosi will be the only freshman travelling with the group.
Team members not competing at Tufts will head to the University of Rhode Island for Southern Series 5, a fleet race.
Sailing B division will be freshman skipper Chrissie Klingler with senior crew Charles Skoda. A division will be split by two skipper-crew pairs: on Saturday freshman skipper Dylan DiMarchi and sophomore crew Kira Woods will be competing, while juniors skipper KB Knapp and crew Claire Huebner will sail on Sunday.
Racing begins at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. Follow results at http://scores.collegesailing.org/s17/.
Report filed by Natalya Doris '17, Yale Sports Publicity