March 29, 2010

No. 4 Bulldogs Score Ivy Championship Three-Peat

Team Takes Title Over Brown

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Bulldogs have done it again.  Frigid, blustery conditions could not stop the team as it out-dueled Brown to take the Ivy Championship, known as the Mosbacher Trophy.  This is the third year in a row that the team has taken home the title.  The Bulldogs also finished second at Southern Series Two and fifth at Team Race B Level.

The Ivy Championship is a regatta that the Bulldogs are quick to circle on their calendars each season.  Teams actually compete for three separate victories: the Owen Trophy, awarded to the top-finishing team; the Mosbacher Trophy, awarded to the highest-ranked Ivy League school; and the Knapp Trophy, awarded to the highest-ranked service academy.  The Bulldogs have now won the Mosbacher Trophy four out of the previous five years, taking the title in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010.  The Bulldogs also scored the overall-regatta win, earning them the Owen Trophy.

Saturday morning brought calm winds and waiting to the Edgewood Yacht Club, home of the Brown University sailing team.  After racing one set in each division, what Brown head coach John Mollicone described as “sketchy conditions” forced a two-hour postponement.  A late-afternoon seabreeze allowed each division to complete another rotation before the sun set.  Senior Thomas Barrows and junior Blair Belling put in a strong performance in A division, winning two of the four races.  Sophomore Joseph Morris and senior Marla Menninger were equally successful in B division, also winning 50% of the day’s races. 

Sunday brought 12-16 knot winds and forced a redeployment of crews.  Menninger joined Barrows in A division while senior Mike Hession and freshman Rafael Fernandez split time sailing with Morris in B division.   Both divisions continued Saturday’s hot streak, with Morris making a statement in his last set with a pair of race wins and Barrows going on a tear at one point, winning three races in a row.  Brown kept the Bulldogs on their toes throughout the event, but finished 18 points behind Yale’s 70-point aggregated score-line.

For Morris, the victory was sweeter for having been a hard-fought battle.

“We were always ahead of Brown, but only by a small margin,” he said. “I am really happy with how the team rallied to win the regatta and the Ivy Championship.  ”

Morris went on to cite the performance of the heavy-air crews as decisive. 

“It was a tiring day of sailing,” he noted.

The Bulldogs were also successful on the Rhode Island coastline, finishing second at Southern Series Two hosted by Salve Regina in Newport, R.I.  Yale managed the 11-boat fleet well through two solid days of racing.  Sophomores Stephanie Schuyler and Genoa Warner finished fifth in A division with 57 points.  Taking a cue from Barrows and Menninger’s performance, Schuyler and Warner also turned in a red-hot streak of three race-wins in a row.   Freshman Emily Billing and sophomore Jared Shenson won B division with 30 points.  Like their A division counterparts, Billing and Shenson also won three races over the course of the regatta, and recorded an average finishing position of 2.5. 

Yale rounded out the weekend by competing in the Team Race B Level, hosted by Roger Williams on Saturday.  Racing for the Bulldogs were seniors Mike Hession and John Vrolyk, junior Andrew Kurzrok, sophomore Isabel Elliman and freshmen Senem Cilingiroglu and Grace Zimmerly.  The team struggled in the windy conditions in the morning with a 0-4 record.  Despite the team’s determination to strike back in the second round-robin, dying breezes prevented a single race from being run in the afternoon.  The team finished fifth overall.

Next weekend, the team will return to team-racing mode to compete at the Southern New England Team Race Intersectional, hosted by Connecticut College and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.       

Report by Andrew Kurzrok ’11, Yale Sports Publicity

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