April 9, 2010

No. 4 Bulldogs Wind Down Spring Team Racing

Last Team Racing Regatta Until Nationals Qualifier This Weekend at MIT

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After a strong third-place showing at last weekend’s Southern New England Team Race Intersectional, the Bulldogs are shipping up to Boston to compete in the 29th Marchiando and 50th Friis Trophies at MIT and Tufts.  Yale is also travelling to Roger Williams for Team Racing A Level and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy for the New London Invitational.

The Friis-Marchiando Trophies will bring the top team racers in the country together on two of the nation’s trickiest venues, the Charles River and Mystic Lake.  Both bodies of water can serve up radical windshifts that are baffling to the point of maddening.  Yale will report to Tufts on Saturday morning. Last year, the Bulldogs proved themselves up to the challenge with an impressive third-place finish.  Sailing for the Bulldogs will be seniors Thomas Barrows, Sarah Lihan and Marla Menninger, juniors Blair Belling and Liz Brim, sophomore Joseph Morris and freshman Raphael Fernandez. Tufts is unique in the sailing community for its Lark dinghy.  The craft is a hybrid of the 420 and the FJ, blending the 420’s speed with the FJ’s maneuverability.  This year Tufts has thrown a new wrinkle into the mix for teams: larger sails.  Larks were already known as overpowered boats, and the increase in sail area has made the boat nothing short of a monster in the collegiate sailing world.  Yale’s women had the opportunity to test out the new sails two weeks ago at the Duplin team race, and found the additional power to be exciting, though at times overwhelming.  Lihan and Brim were members of the Duplin team, and may be able to help the team transition to the new sail cut. 

A second pack of sailors will travel to Roger Williams on Sunday for team racing.  Yale will face off against sailors from Boston College, Dartmouth, Roger Williams, Tufts and the University of Rhode Island.   Racing for the Bulldogs will be seniors Rebecca Jackson and John Vrolyk, junior Andrew Kurzrok, sophomore Isabel Elliman and freshmen Senem Cilingiroglu and Grace Zimmerly.  Like for the Friis gang, the Roger Williams team race represents the final team-racing event of the spring season.

Lastly, sailors will race in the New London Invitational, Southern Series Four at Coast Guard. The regatta will be sailed in both 420s and FJs and promises to test the sailors' aptitudes for changing boats and their ability to handle extremely dynamic sailing conditions.   

Teams should expect gusty conditions with a low forecast to pass over New England this weekend.  However, none of the Bulldogs’ venues are on open ocean, so local effects may predominate despite strong macro-scale systems. 

Racing at Tufts and Coast Guard begins Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

Report filed by Andrew Kurzrok ’11, Yale Sports Publicity