October 5, 2009

No. 1 Bulldogs Win Danmark Trophy

Sailors Off To Impressive Start

Smith Trophy Results

NEW HAVEN, Conn. --  This weekend the Bulldogs proved again why they are ranked number one in the country, winning the Danmark Trophy hosted by the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.  The victory was the third for the Bulldogs in four weekends.  Sailors also competed at the Smith Trophy at MIT and Southern Series Four at Connecticut College.

Fluky breezes continued to bedevil college sailing this weekend.  Rain and the occasional thunderstorm made racing difficult at the Danmark Trophy.  Eventually, a 5-12 knot breeze settled in and 10 races were completed per division.  A division sailed 420s while B division raced FJs.  On Sunday the competitors switched vessels, placing A division duo senior Thomas Barrows and junior Blair Belling in an FJ and B division sailors sophomore Joe Morris and senior Marla Menninger in a 420.  Five more races were completed in each division.  By day's end, the Bulldogs had turned in an impressive performance.  Barrows and Belling won A division by an impressive 30 points, while Morris and Menninger finished a strong third in B division.  The Bulldogs captured the overall victory as well, out-pacing second-place Boston College by 28 points. 

A team also travelled to Boston for the Smith Trophy at MIT, sailed on the notoriously tricky Charles River.  The regatta was sailed in MIT's Tech Dinghy, and the 26 schools present made the Smith Trophy the largest college sailing regatta of the year.  Rain persisted for much of Saturday, though there was enough wind for sailing.  Sailors battled against frequent wind-shifts across the entire course all day.  Sunday brought, as described in the regatta report, "a severe lack of wind".  All racing was canceled for the day, making Saturday's scores final.  In A division, sophomore Rob Struckett and junior Alexa Chu battled an unfamiliar dinghy to a 21st place finish with one top-six result.  In B division, junior Andrew Kurzrok and freshman Grace Zimmerly finished 12th with two top-fives.  The Bulldogs finished 17th overall.  The event is named for MIT Professor George Warren Smith, a professor of electrical engineering and longtime friend of collegiate sailing. 

Sailors also travelled to Connecticut College for Southern Series Four.  Connecticut College, like Coast Guard, sails on the Thames River in New London, Conn.  However, because Connecticut College is farther away from Long Island Sound, breezes are often lighter and shiftier.  Racing took place in winds ranging from 3-8 knots.  Sophomore Genoa Warner and junior Nathan Stevens tallied 78 points over seven races In A division while senior John Vrolyk and sophomore Isabel Elliman scored 51 points in B division, including two race-wins.  For their efforts, the team placed fifth overall and the event was won by Connecticut College.

Next weekend the Bulldogs will compete for the men's Singlehanded Championship at Roger Williams, the Moody Trophy at University of Rhode Island, and the Protest Trophy at Coast Guard.

Report by Andrew Kurzrok '11, Yale Sports Publicity