HARWICH – “This is our time together that we treasure,” Natalie Coleman-Fuller said after she and her older sister, Allison Coleman, were crowned the Orleans Yacht Club’s Daysailer club champions following three first-place finishes Sunday at Town Cove.
“We sail any race that we can together and it’s just a way that we stay connected and also talk about plans for our families,” Coleman-Fuller added. “So, it’s not just sailing, there’s also the family connection.”
Coleman-Fuller and Coleman, both Chatham residents, have been sailing together for 50 years. They started in Beetle Cats before getting into Daysailers, and they also sail 420s out of the Chatham Yacht Club.
There’s something about being on the water that helps the sisters unwind. Coleman is a recent retiree, while Coleman-Fuller is a Ph.D. recipient who works for MarPam Pharma, which is using CAR-T therapy to develop an HIV cure product.
“We kind of leave all that behind when we go sailing,” said Coleman-Fuller, who was the skipper while her sister serves as crew. “We work really well together. In fact, we think that we’re telepathic when we’re in the boat. We know what the other is thinking and it’s really fun to have good teamwork that we’ve been building over the past 50 years and have it come through most of the time.”
The sisters competed throughout the summer as a part of the yacht club’s Cove Series. Coleman-Fuller said it’s helped rebuild a Daysailer fleet for the Lower Cape community.
“It’s been a really special year because Orleans Yacht Club has really extended an extravagant welcome and resurrected this Daysailer fleet,” Coleman-Fuller said. “Orleans Yacht Club, with Sid Snow and Lydia Hopkins, they’ve really gathered this great opportunity for Daysailers to come together and sail. They’re single-handedly building the fleet and saving it and then the race committee has just been outstanding – Barry Alper and his team of volunteer race committee are excellent.”
Hopkins served as the skipper on the second-place finisher with crew Ron Jolicoeur, while Snow was the skipper with Donna Snow on the third-place finisher. Skipper Mike Neschlebaand Ann Pike-Paris finished fourth.
The Orleans Yacht Club will cap off the season when it hosts sailors from around New England for the Yankee Uno Sunfish Regatta on Sept. 18.
Email Brad Joyal at Brad@capecodchronicle.com. Twitter: @BradJoyal