March 18, 2010

No. 4 Bulldogs Prepare for Fleet Racing Regattas

Team Will Compete in Two Fleet Races Throughout Northeast

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Though much of the spring focuses on team racing, the Bulldogs will polish their fleet racing skills this weekend at the Truxtun Umstead Regatta hosted by the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and the Veitor Trophy hosted by Salve Regina in Newport, R.I.

Unlike the 3-on-3 cooperative sailing in team racing, the more classical style of fleet racing pits one boat from each of 18 schools against the others.  The vast majority of the fall season regattas are fleet racing, and the ICSA/Gill Dinghy National Championship is a fleet racing event.  From a coaching perspective, however, time spent practicing team racing is not necessarily detrimental to a squad’s fleet racing skills.  Team racing’s fast pace often concentrates the tactical decisions required for a full weekend into a single race.  On every team racing leg, sailors must assess the changing course conditions as well as engage in numerous boat-on-boat rules situations.  The sometimes-aggressive nature of team racing exposes boathandling and strategic errors that might go unnoticed in a fleet race.  With this in mind, the Bulldogs are entering two fleet race regattas this weekend.

A large team is headed to Navy for the Truxtun Umstead Regatta, known colloquially as “the Trux.”  Teams compete in four divisions in four types of boats, a twist on the typical two-division, single hull-design regatta.  The Bulldogs will race the double-handed 420 and FJ as well as the single-handed Laser and Laser Radial.  Sailing for the Bulldogs will be seniors Thomas Barrows, Mike Hession, Marla Menninger and John Vrolyk, juniors Blair Belling and Liz Brim, sophomore Joseph Morris and freshman Claire Dennis.  

Competition will be stiff at the Trux.  Historically one of the most competitive events of the spring, this year’s regatta features 17 of the 20 nationally-ranked teams.  Noticeably absent is top-ranked Boston College, which was originally scheduled to attend but has since withdrawn.  The Bulldogs have a strong history at the event, finishing second last year. 

Sailors will also travel to the Veitor Trophy.  The event will bring together a full complement of NEISA teams for two days of fleet racing in the waters off Newport, R.I.  Sailing for the Bulldogs will be senior Becca Jackson, junior Andrew Kurzrok, sophomore Jared Shenson and freshmen Senem Cilingiroglu and Grace Zimmerly.  The regatta will be sailed in 420s. 

High pressure over the Northeast through Saturday may stifle any prospects for consistent winds.  However, above-normal temperatures are in the forecast.  Low pressure sweeping in Sunday may lead to fresher breezes, but brings the prospect of precipitation. 

Racing at the Truxtun Umstead Regatta begins at 9:00 a.m. and at the Veitor Trophy at 9:30 a.m.

Report by Andrew Kurzrok ’11, Yale Sports Publicity

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