CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Yale coed sailing team finished second this weekend at the Laser Performance Team Race National Championship. As the favorite to win, and coming close to making college sailing history by winning the event for the fifth time in a row, the Bulldogs were contenders for first up until the end.
The event took place in the Charleston harbor just off the decommissioned aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Yorktown, which provided for fantastic viewing. The harbor is notorious for its rapid currents that add to the difficulty of racing. Current presented a new obstacle for many of the teams competing, and the champions, The College of Charleston, had a distinct home field advantage.
The Bulldogs sailed an inconsistent, but solid qualifying round, losing only three races. Challenging conditions led to close, and often unpredictable racing, causing tight situations that required the umpires to get involved. One race behind the leaders, the Bulldogs entered the top eight round, going 6-1, losing only to The College of Charleston.
Tied for the lead, the Yale sailors needed to win every race of the final four in order to clinch the win. They defeated Georgetown handily in the first race of the series, but lost to Boston College in close second race, to solidify a second place finish.
Head coach Zack Leonard '89, McNay Family Director of Yale Sailing, understood the difficulty of consistently winning such a competitive event, saying: "we sailed very close to our potential, and 90 percent of the time, that's enough to win."
With the team racing championship concluded, the Bulldogs transition to fleet racing as they prepare for the Coed National Semifinal Championship tomorrow morning. They will be competing in the Western flight and the first race is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. EST on Tuesday.
To see results from the Team Race Championship and follow results this week, visit http://scores.collegesailing.org/s17/laserperformance-team-race-national/.
Report filed by Nicholas Baird '19, Yale Sports Publicity