March 20, 2011

No. 8 Bulldogs Wrap Up Successful Spring Break

Bulldogs Score Top Finishes on the East Coast

ANNAPOLIS, Md.—The No. 8 Yale coed sailing team ended spring break with a solid weekend of sailing all across the Northeast. The Bulldogs finished fifth at the renowned Truxton Umstead Intersectional hosted by the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Another team of Bulldogs finished third at the Central Series One hosted by Boston College in Dorchester, Md. and a third group finished 15th at the Veitor Trophy hosted by Coast Guard in New London, Conn.

The Truxton Umstead, or the "Trux," is one of the most talked about regattas of the spring season. With four divisions, it promises plenty of topnotch sailing. On Saturday, the sailors were greeted with shifty and puffy breeze of 13 to 20 knots that ranged from North to Northwest throughout the beautiful day. The sailors enjoyed the mild Maryland March with temperatures near 60 degrees. 12 races were completed in each division on a trapezoid course that was set in the Severn River right next to the sailing center. 

Sunday brought lighter breeze and cooler temperatures allowing for the completion of three races in A, B, and C divisions and two races in D division before the breeze shut off. After a break on land, a more consistent southeasterly filled in allowing for the recommencement of sailing. By the end of the day the wind completely died, but only after a total of 17 races in each division was completed.

The Bulldogs played a game of musical crews all weekend as the conditions changed. Junior captain skipper Joseph Morris sailed with crews sophomores Heather May and Rafael Fernandez in the heavier breeze and with senior Blair Belling when the wind got lighter on Sunday. The combined effort landed the team in fifth in A division with 12 top-ten finishes, including three wins.

Freshman Christopher Segerblom skippered the B division boat to a third place finish, just one point out of second. Segerblom sailed with crews freshman Amanda Salvesen, sophomores Heather May and Rafael Fernandez and senior Elizabeth Brim. They had 13 top-ten finishes, including one win.

Freshman Max Nickbarg returned to singlehanded sailing for the weekend in C division. Despite not having sailed a Laser in awhile, Nickbarg finished in the top-ten in 13 races with a top finish of second.

Returning to the boat she grew up sailing, sophomore Claire Dennis finished seventh in D division in Laser Radials. Dennis was the first female in the division and finished in the top ten 13 times.

No. 3 College of Charleston won with No. 2 Georgetown second, No. 5 Roger Williams third and No. 8 (tied in the rankings with the Bulldogs) Navy fourth.

Two teams of Bulldogs braved the colder temperatures of Massachusetts and Connecticut while those at the Trux enjoyed the sun. Juniors skipper Rob Struckett and crew Isabel Elliman and freshman skipper Will Feldman and sophomore crew Sinead O'Brien finished 15th at the Veitor Trophy hosted by the Coast Guard Academy on the Thames River in New London, Conn.

The Thames River lived up to its reputation with shifty conditions and lots of current. On Saturday the breeze ranged from six to 20 knots although there was much more of the latter than the former. The current was ripping at two and a half knots, which is as fast as many had ever seen at Coast Guard and was due to the oversized moon. Each division sailed ten races. Sunday dawned very light with the completion of one race before a break for a few hours while the wind filled in allowing for the completion of 16 races in each division.

Stuckett and Elliman finished 14th in A division while Feldman and O'Brien finished 17th in B division. Struckett commented, "The regatta was quite frustrating. The current played a huge factor and created difficult sailing conditions."

A third team of Bulldogs finished third at the Central Series One hosted by Boston College in Dorchester, Mass. Saturday brought big breeze with wind ranging from 10 to 20 knots with plenty of current and waves providing for some interesting conditions. Sunday was quite cold with calmer winds of five to 10 knots.

Due to the small field, divisions were combined into one fleet. Juniors skipper Genoa Warner and crew Stephanie Schuyler finished fourth. Seniors skipper Andrew Kurzrok and crew Tatyana Camejo won B division with a consistent regatta, including a win in the last race.

Kurzrok said, "Sailing back in New England was very different than warm, sunny Florida. Sailing at Boston College was nice because the venue is quite similar to where we practice everyday with waves and plenty of shifts. It was a lot of fun and even felt a bit like home."

This week, the Bulldogs will resume practice at the McNay Family Sailing Center, where the snow and ice has finally melted. Next weekend the Bulldogs will once again travel across the East coast with regattas in Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Virginia.

Report filed by Margot Benedict '12, Yale Sports Publicity

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