Team Finishes Second At Hatch Brown Trophy
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The No. 6 Bulldogs performed well across the board this weekend, taking second place at the ultra-competitive Hatch Brown Trophy at MIT and winning the Lake Champlain Open at Vermont and the Boston Harbor Invitational at Boston College.
Six Bulldogs travelled to Cambridge, Mass., to sail the Hatch Brown Trophy in three divisions of FJs. The Charles River refused to cooperate, leaving sailors guessing with a tricky four to eight knots of breeze all day. MIT instituted a unique racecourse, with two marks at both the windward and leeward ends of the course for sailors two choose from, and a pair of marks at the center of the leg between which the whole fleet must pass.
Junior Joseph Morris paired with freshman Amanda Salvesen in A division, sophomore Cameron Cullman skippered for senior Blair Belling in B division, and senior crew Elizabeth Brim sailed with rookie Chris Segerblom in C division. After the first day's racing, the Bulldogs sat in third.
Sunday dawned with even fewer prospects. The race committee managed to run two races before entering a three-hour wind delay, after which it abandoned racing for the day. Morris made the most of his single Sunday race, notching a second. All three sets of Bulldogs found victory over the weekend, with the pairs of Morris and Salvesen and Belling and Cullman each winning two races and Brim and Segerblom winning once. Yale finished in second with 131 points, trailing regatta winner St. Mary's by six points.
Segerblom, reflecting on his first collegiate dinghy regatta, said that "racing on the Charles for the first time was quite the experience. Good starts were key, but you had to accept the fact that shifts weren't going to go your way sometimes."
A second set of Bulldogs trekked north to Burlington, Vt., for the Lake Champlain Open. The regatta is sailed directly off Burlington's city front, adding spectacular scenery to tight racing. Northern New England avoided Boston's doldrums and 15-knot winds and one-to-two-foot waves greeted sailors on Saturday. With a weak forecast for Sunday, Vermont's race committee pushed hard to complete as much of the regatta rotation as possible on Saturday. Sailing until dark, the organizers completed 10 races for A division and eight for B division. Juniors Rob Struckett and Isabel Elli man put together a remarkably consistent day in A division, averaging better than fourth place and scoring one race win. The B division pair of senior Andrew Kurzrok and sophomore Grace Zimmerly found their way to a fifth-place average through a wider variation: three race wins but two tenth-place finishes. Combined, the Bulldogs held first overall by 14 points after Saturday's action.
Though avoiding a late night on Saturday, Kurzrok and Zimmer were the first to battle a light and shifty wind on Sunday morning. The race committee could only get off one race before a dying wind forced competitors ashore for an hour. In the five remaining races Providence College, Tufts, and Vermont all made runs at the Bulldogs, but Yale squeezed out a two-point margin of victory over Vermont in the final standings. Elli man and Struckett won A division with 50 points and Kurzrok and Zimmer finished third in B division with 67 points.
Elliman credited the victory to the team's continual focus.
"We adapted to the variable conditions that we saw throughout the weekend. Consistency made the difference."
Recalling Saturday's long, grinding upwind legs, Zimmer simply said, "We sailed our hardest and it paid off."
Not to be outdone by their brethren in Vermont, Yale dominated the Boston Harbor Invitational, recording less than half the points of second place Boston College. Boston Harbor featured many of the same conditions as the Charles River, but with a more constant wind direction. In A division, juniors Stephanie Schuyler and Genoa Warner won four out of the eight races sailed to win A division with 14 points. Freshmen Max Nickbarg and Anna Han were not far behind, winning two races and completing the event with 18 points.
The conditions were a change for Warner, who sailed "in shifty conditions all last week, and sailed last weekend on the Charles."
She added that this weekend was "all about straight-line boat speed. For the most part, it wasn't about playing the shifts. We worked on sailing fast, pointing high and fleet management."
After a week of practice at the McNay Family Sailing Center, the Bulldogs will return to action at the St. Mary's Intersectional, the New England Match Race Championship at Coast Guard, the Hood Trophy at Tufts and the Salt Pond Invitational at Rhode Island.
Report by Andrew Kurzrok '11, Yale Sports Publicity