October 28, 2009

No. 1 Bulldogs Heading To Boston

Team Begins Hunt For Atlantic Coast Championship Berth

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The Bulldogs will travel to MIT this weekend to compete in the Schell Trophy.  The top seven finishers at the event will earn the right to represent New England at the Atlantic Coast Championships, the premier event of the fall season, in two weeks.  Sailors will also travel to Boston University for the Nickerson Trophy, Providence College for an invite event and Roger Williams University for Team Race Series Two.

The top 17 teams in New England are eligible to compete in the 69th Erwin Schell Trophy.  Teams are eligible to score Performance Ranking points each weekend of the fall season.  These scores were tabulated after last weekend's racing, and the top 17 were granted berths in the event.  Acceptance to the Schell is crucial because it grants access to the Atlantic Coast Championships (ACCs).  The event will be sailed in MIT's fleet of FJs and Tech Dinghies.  According to NEISA regulations, sailors competing in the Smith Trophy, a large Tech Dinghy event held one month ago, are ineligible to sail in the Schell.  This means that competitors will enter the regatta with little if not zero practice in the dinghy this fall.  Senior Thomas Barrows and sophomore Joe Morris will skipper for the Bulldogs.  Crewing will be seniors Mike Hession and Marla Menninger, junior Blair Belling and freshman Raphael Fernandez.  The event is named after Professor Erwin Schell, who served as the Dean of what is now known as the Sloan School of Management.

The Nickerson Trophy is the New England Freshman Championship.  The event will be sailed in two divisions of Boston University's FJs.  Yale will send six sailors to the event, anticipating the potentially strong winds. Representing the Bulldogs will be skippers Emily Billing and Claire Dennis and crews Senem Cilingiroglu, Heather May, Zachary Foreman and Grace Zimmerly.  Last year, the Bulldogs sailed to a sixth-place finish at the event.

Saturday's Providence College Invite will offer a number of sailors the opportunity to race at a new venue.  Providence College sails at the Rhode Island Yacht Club in Cranston, R.I., only a short distance from Brown's venue.  The one-day regatta will be sailed in FJs.

Yale will also hone its team racing skills on Sunday at Team Race Series Two at Roger Williams.  Yale will compete against teams from Dalhousie University, Roger Williams, McGill, Tufts and University of New Hampshire.  While most team racing in New England occurs in the spring, the event will help the Bulldogs refine techniques and build momentum heading into the offseason.

Early forecasts for the weekend indicate that a cold front bringing rain will pass over the area sometime Saturday.  Until this system approaches, light winds are expected.  As the storm moves through New England, stronger winds may build and Sunday's forecast remains very much unknown.

Racing begins Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

report by Andrew Kurzrok '11, Yale Sports Publicity