Bulldogs Confront Ice and Breeze
KING'S POINT, N.Y.—The No. 7 Yale co-ed sailing team faced tough sailing with cool temperatures and big breeze across the east coast. The Bulldogs finished second at the Owen, Mosbacher and Knapp Trophy in New York, eighth at the Szambecki Team Race in Virginia, 14th at the Southern Series Two in Rhode Island and 16th at the Boston Dinghy Cup in Massachusetts.
The Bulldogs faced the coldest temperatures of the year at King's Point. The Owen trophy is awarded to the overall winner of the regatta, the Mosbacher trophy is given to the top-finishing Ivy League team and the Knapp trophy is given to the top-finisher out of Harvard, Yale and Princeton. This year the Bulldogs finished second at the regatta behind No. 8 Harvard.
Saturday the sailors were greeted by ice on the sails and mainsheets as well as shifty breeze that came out of the North and Northwest and ranged from 12 to 22 knots causing most teams to substitute in their heavy crews. Because the wind chill caused temperatures to drop below freezing, race officials decided not to utilize King Point's two fleets of boats and instead all racing was done in 420s to allow the sailors to have off-sets to warm up. Eight races were completed.
Sunday brought slightly warmer but still frigid temperatures, which were helped by less breeze. The shifty and puffy wind once again came out of the North Northwest but ranged from five to 15 knots. The final eight races of the regatta were completed with current playing a large factor.
Due to sickness, the Bulldogs had to shuffle their lineup. Sophomore Cam Cullman skippered the A division boat with freshman Amanda Salvesen crewing on Saturday and senior Blair Belling on Sunday. They finished second in the division with nine top-five finishes and three wins.
Sophomore Emily Billing stepped in for the team on what was supposed to be her weekend off and skippered the B division boat on Saturday as well as for the last two races on Sunday. Junior captain Joseph Morris skippered the first six races on Sunday. On Saturday, sophomore Rafael Fernandez filled in as heavy air crew. On Sunday Salvesen moved down from A division to crew in B division. The combined team finished second by three points and scored twelve top-five finishes and six wins.
Billing commented, "Saturday was very windy which was exacerbated by the fact that King's Point has flat top mains. It was the first time that I had ever sailed with flat top mains, which made it quite tricky. We worked really hard to be consistent and to avoid taking big risks."
Six Bulldogs made the ten-hour trip down to Norfolk, Va. for the Szambecki Team Race hosted by Old Dominion University. While one might expect that at least they would be offered warmer temperatures than those that remained in the Northeast, Mother Nature made sure to destroy all such presumptions. While Saturday was tolerable with an oscillating breeze, Sunday was rather miserable with winds between 17 and 24 knots and sleet with temperatures hovering around freezing. As the regatta report said, Sunday "started as a perfect opportunity to sleep in, sit by a fire and drink some hot chocolate," none of which the sailors were able to do.
The Bulldogs fought through the conditions and finished eight with a record of 1-13 as they struggled to find a team racing rhythm. The team consisted of sophomore skipper Chris Segerblom and senior crew Elizabeth Brim, sophomores skipper Claire Dennis and crew Heather May and freshmen skipper Max Nickbarg and crew Anna Han. The regatta was won by No. 2 Georgetown.
The temperatures remained in the 20s for Saturday morning at the Southern Series Two hosted by Salve Regina in Newport, R.I. The westerly breeze was shifty and was about 15 knots. Sunday warmed up a bit with temperatures in the 40s and sunshine throughout the day. The breeze was west-southwest around five to 10 knots.
The final team of Bulldogs was at the largest regatta of the weekend. The 82nd Boston Dinghy Cup, which is the oldest trophy in college sailing, consisted of three divisions. Because Harvard loaned its FJs to the event, the Bulldogs did not get the privilege of sailing MIT's infamous Tech Dinghies. Not surprisingly, the conditions were extremely shifty as is almost always the case on the Charles River. Both days brought breeze of eight to 22 knots and cold temperatures that left the jib sheets with ice on them.
The Bulldogs finished 16th, while No. 9 Brown took home the win. Juniors skipper Rob Struckett and Isabel Elliman finished 11th in A division, losing the tie-breaker for 10th and only eight points out of eighth place. Freshmen skipper Marlena Fauer and crew Eugenia Custo Grieg finished 13th in B division. Senior skipper Nathan Stevens and sophomore crew Sinead O'Brien finished 18th in C division.
Next weekend, the Bulldogs will remain in the Constitution State sailing at the McNay Family Sailing Center in Branford at the Ferrerone Team Race and at the Southern New England Team Race in New London, Conn.
Report filed by Margot Benedict '12, Yale Sports Publicity