NEWPORT, R.I. - The Bulldogs placed third in the 2019 Sperry Women's National Championship. A season of hard work and consistent wins yielded a podium finish for the Bulldogs in addition to several awards for the accomplished sailors.
The second day of the finals was incredibly windy, to the point where some questioned if the breeze was even sailable for the all-women regatta. However, the fleet proved that athletic prowess knows no gender boundaries by maintaining a high level of competition (and very few capsizes) in the heavy wind. The Bulldog sailors prospered in the heavy wind, nabbing top-five finishes in 12 out of their 16 races today.
In the A division fleet, junior skipper Louisa Nordstrom sailed with sophomore Katie Clulo for the whole day. Nordstrom and Clulo are known in college sailing as the pair to beat when the breeze picks up, and their ability to hike for extended lengths of time, while deftly maintaining simultaneous sail trim (no easy feat in 25 knot puffs), allowed them to "chip, chip, chip" away at the fleet. Overall the two sailors proved that breeze is no match for hard work and Bulldog determination. Yale finished in third in A division with 107 points.
In the B division fleet, junior skipper Chrissie Klingler sailed the first three sets with sophomore Cate Mollerus, another combination that routinely excels in heavy wind. As the breeze died to champagne conditions with breezy puffs, Klingler switched to senior Kira Woods to sail her final set in women's college sailing. Woods, who was previously captain of the Yale sailing team, and Klingler, the current captain, have spent the year training together and their impressive record reflects the duality of leadership and athleticism that both possess. Yale finished fifth in B division with 108 points, within 10 points of winning their fleet.
After an uncharacteristically rocky first day the Bulldogs showed a true tenacity of spirit by "spending everything they had in the tank," in the words of associate coach Bill Healy. The sailors agree they would have been unable to produce such a remarkable season without the wise coaching of Healy, who attends every women's regatta and is a constant source of strength and guidance for the Bulldogs.
Despite the loss of invaluable teammate Kira Woods, who was recognized as a First Team All NEISA crew and NEISA Women's Crew of the Year Finalist, the rest of the Bulldogs return to college sailing next year. In the words of Nordstrom, the girls "cannot wait to get back on a boat" and are hungry for more chances to prove their sailing expertise.
Full scores from today's racing can be found at https://scores.
Report filed by Becca Rose '21, Yale Sports Publicity