Light Winds Slow Weekend Event
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Sometimes, sailboat racing features start-to-finish excitement. Other times, well, it requires patience. This weekend’s St. Mary’s Team Race Intersectional tested the Bulldogs and the other nine teams present with ephemeral breezes that never stuck around quite long enough. Despite tireless efforts, the race committee could only complete one round-robin, and the Bulldogs finished in sixth place with a 4-5 record.
“It sure seemed like we were all dressed up with nowhere to go,” wrote St. Mary’s head Coach Adam Werblow in the event report.
Near-calm prevented the race committee from completing a full round-robin on Saturday, though the Bulldogs did go 2-3 in the five races that were run. Sunday’s racing was postponed until 12:30 p.m. when a five to six-knot northerly filled the St. Mary’s River.
“Even though there were large gaps between races, staying focused wasn’t a problem,” said Lihan. “Much of team racing is short-burst, high intensity.”
By weekend’s end, the Bulldogs won races against College of Charleston, Roger Williams, U.S. Naval Academy and Vermont.
Sailing for the Bulldogs were seniors Thomas Barrows, Mike Hession, Sarah Lihan and Marla Menninger, juniors Blair Belling and Elizabeth Brim, and sophomore Joseph Morris.
Bringing together many of the top teams in the country, the regatta offered a preview of what the New England and national championships could have in store. The Bulldogs sailed in both FJs and 420s in the river off St. Mary’s newly-built sailing center. The regatta was fully umpired, meaning that certified judges follow the dinghies in motorboats and can make instant rules decisions. This change from the standard protest format is important to master in the run-up to the spring championships.
With the St. Mary’s Team Race behind them, the Bulldogs are in the home stretch of their spring-recess travels. After three days of team racing in Charleston, S.C., last week, heavy rain ended prospects of further racing. The team travelled to St. Mary’s a day early in search of better breezes on the Friday before the Team Race Intersectional. Now, the Bulldogs will take two days off in Annapolis, Md., before spending practicing with St. Mary’s in the second half of the week. Next weekend the Bulldogs will race at the Truxtun Umstead hosted by the U.S. Naval Academy and the Vietor Trophy hosted by Salve Regina.
Report filed by Andrew Kurzrok ’11, Yale Sports Publicity