March 18, 2011

No. 8 Bulldogs Fit for Fleet Racing

Bulldogs Take a Break from Team Racing

NEW HAVEN, Conn.— The No. 8 Yale co-ed Sailing Team will spend the weekend fleet racing across the East coast. The Bulldogs will sail in the four division Truxton Umstead Intersectional at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., the Veitor Trophy hosted by the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., and at the Central Series One hosted by Boston College in Dorchester, Mass.

After two weeks of intense and productive practice, including a few successful regattas, the Bulldogs will take to the water at the famous Truxton Umstead Intersectional at the U.S. Naval Academy, which is known affectionately as the "Trux." While most co-ed regattas have only two divisions, the Trux has four. Two of the divisions alternate between doublehanded boats—420s and Flying Juniors—while the other divisions sail singlehanded with one division of full rig Lasers and another division of Laser Radials. The Naval Academy is the only college sailing venue that has the capacity to host such an event as it is the only team that has 20 of each kind of boat used in collegiate sailing.

Because of the two added divisions, the Trux shows the depth of a team as well as its talent in both singlehanded and doublehanded racing. Despite a few injuries, the Bulldogs will field a very strong team for the regatta. Annapolis natives junior captain skipper Joseph Morris and freshman crew Amanda Salvesen will sail in A division for the Bulldogs. Both Morris and Salvesen grew up watching the Trux, which makes it a very exciting event for the pair. Freshman skipper Chris Segerblom and senior crew Elizabeth Brim will sail in B division for the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs also will have senior crew Blair Belling and sophomore crew Heather May available for differing wind conditions. Freshman Max Nickbarg will sail in C Division in Lasers with sophomore Claire Dennis sailing in D division in Laser Radials. Dennis was the Singlehanded National Champion this past fall.

Last year the Bulldogs finished fifth. Skipper Thomas Barrows '10 and crew Belling won A division while Morris and crew Marla Menninger '10 took home the win in B division. John Vrolyk '10 finished 18th in C division with Dennis taking third in D division.

The Bulldogs' biggest goal will be to stay consistent across all four divisions. Some schools that are not as deep as the Bulldogs may do well in one or two of the divisions but in order to win the regatta, a team must do well in all four of the divisions. The Bulldogs will face top competition from No. 2 Georgetown, No. 3 Charleston, No. 4 St. Mary's, No. 5 Roger Williams, No. 7 Harvard, No. 10 Hobart William Smith, No. 11 Stanford, No. 12 Vermont, No. 15 Tufts, No. 17 Miami, No. 18 Old Dominion and No. 20 Boston University as well as other top schools from across the country.

Four Bulldogs will also travel to the Veitor Trophy hosted this year by the Coast Guard Academy in 420s. Last year the Bulldogs finished sixth. Senior skipper Andrew Kurzrok and sophomore crew Grace Zimmerly finished 11th in A division while Rebecca Jackson '11 and junior Jared Shenson finished second in B division. Coast Guard is known for its tricky sailing as the Thames River provides puffy wind conditions and an eccentric current. Junior skipper Rob Struckett  will sail with junior crew Isabel Elliman in A division while freshman skipper Will Feldman and sophomore crew Sinead O'Brien will sail in B division.

The Bulldogs will also compete in the Central Series I in Dorchester, Mass. Junior skipper Genoa Warner and junior crew Stephanie Schuyler as well as senior skipper Andrew Kurzrok and senior crew Tatyana Camejo will sail for the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs did not compete in the Central Series I last year.

The weathermen are currently predicting sun and temperatures in the 50s and 60s for Maryland with good breeze on Saturday and mild breeze The temperatures are expected to be in the upper 40s in Dorchester, Mass. and New London, Conn. Light breeze is predicted for Boston Harbor with slightly more breeze in the forecast for the Thames River.

The Bulldogs are well prepared for their busy weekend after two weeks of training in Florida and Maryland. While many colleges have yet to have spring break, the Bulldogs have had two whole weeks to dedicate solely to sailing, giving them a preparation edge on many teams. Sailing will begin at 9 a.m. at the Naval Academy, while the two New England events will begin at 9:30 a.m.

Report filed by Margot Benedict '12, Yale Sports Publicity