Bulldogs Newcomers Given Opportunity to Shine

Junior skipper Louisa Nordstrom and first-year crew Helena Ware.
Junior skipper Louisa Nordstrom and first-year crew Helena Ware.

The Bulldogs placed 9th overall this weekend at the Emily Wick Trophy at Coast Guard Academy. The concurrent NEISA Team Race Championship caused a massive shift in the regatta distributions this weekend, allowing first years valuable opportunities to sail against one of the hardest women's fleets in the country.

 

Junior skipper Louisa Nordstrom placed 6th in A division this weekend in the tricky, shifty wind conditions. Nordstrom sailed the first two races of Saturday in a weak southerly breeze with first-year Catherine Webb, a co-ed regatta staple who was excited to sail her first ever college women's regatta. After a wind delay the breeze eventually filled in from the northwest tracking north for the final 4 races of the day, leading Nordstrom to switch to first-year crew Helena Warewhom she sailed a dominant performance with last weekend. On Sunday a stronger breeze from the south held and increased all day. Nordstrom raced the first 4 races with Webb, sailed the next three with Ware, and sailed her final race of the set with long-time heavy-wind pairing Katie Clulo.

 

 

Chrissie Klinger, the Bulldog's second women's skipper who is in the running for NEISA Women's Sailor of the Year, was noticably absent from the women's circuit this weekend to provide support at the NEISA Team Race Championship, as was her consistent crew senior Kira Woods. Instead first-year Meredith Ryan, a prolific lightning sailor who has been strengthening her crewing skills this year, was given the opportunity to return to the helm. She placed 16th overall at the event, snagging several top 10 finishes and even a bullet on the 13th race! Ryan reflects, "Women's had our ups and downs. It was super shifty and a lot of fun because as much as you could fall behind you could really catch up," labeling the holistic experience "a great weekend" for her. Ryan sailed the first 12 races with Clulo and the final set with fellow first-year recruit Webb. Clulo praises Ryan's performance this weekend, saying "Meredith did a really great job stepping up to skipper her first college regatta despite not a ton of practice time...it was a really good learning experience." Clulo names the primary difficulties the pair faced as deciphering "the variable conditions and tricky wind/current" but says they both "learned a lot over the course of the regatta."

 

 

Final results from the event can be found at https://scores.collegesailing.org/s19/emily-wick/.

 

Report filed by Becca Rose '21, Yale Sports Publicity