March 31, 2011

No. 7 Bulldogs Remain In-State

Bulldogs to Sail at Home and in New London

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—Last weekend, the No. 7 Yale coed sailing team put in some miles, traveling all over the east coast and putting many car hours in. This weekend will be quite the opposite with everyone remaining in the state of Connecticut, which will allow them to get their beauty sleep in their own beds. One team of sailors will head to the Southern New England Team Race hosted by Connecticut College and the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., while another team will get to take advantage of their home waters at the Ferrarone Team Racing Intersectional that was moved to Yale from Roger Williams.

After a weekend filled with fleet racing, the Bulldogs will transition back to the three versus three format of team racing in which teams battle one on one for the best finish combinations. Team racing requires even more tactical thought than fleet racing but the Bulldogs are well prepared after a week of practicing with one of Yale's best team racers, alum Zach Brown '08, who is filling in as a second coach while Zachary Leonard '89, Yale McNay Family Director of Sailing, is coaching in Spain.

Last year, the Bulldogs finished third at the Southern New England Team Race Intersectional. The Bulldogs team of skippers junior captain Joseph Morris, Sarah Lihan '10 and Thomas Barrows '10 and crews senior Blair Belling, senior Elizabeth Brim, Marla Menninger '10 and Michael Hession '10 finished with a record of 9-5. They sailed their preliminary round at Coast Guard before moving to Connecticut College for the Gold Fleet round robins.

This year, the Bulldogs will once again kick off the event at the Coast Guard Academy. Belling, Brim and Morris will be joined by freshman Amanda Salvesen, sophomore Cam Cullman and freshman Chris Segerblom. It will be the first regatta of the season with the complete team racing team due to some early season injuries that have hopefully been resolved.

A team of Bulldogs, as well as a bunch of team members who will help run the regatta, will spend their weekend at the McNay Family Sailing Center in Branford. The Bulldogs' team will be made up of skippers senior Andrew Kurzrok, freshman Max Nickbarg and junior Rob Struckett and crews freshman Anna Han, junior Isabel Elliman and senior Tatyana Camejo. The Bulldogs will be able to utilize their knowledge of Short Beach as well as of the 420s that they sail in at practice. While the Bulldogs have spent most of their time this spring in FJs, they finished rigging all of the 420s this week and spent a few days practicing in them.

While the team has been asking Mother Nature for warmer weather, she simply refuses to cooperate. The forecast predicts rain and snow for Friday and into the weekend providing less than optimal sailing conditions. As has been the case the last few weeks, the breeze is supposed to be strong in both locations this weekend. In response, the Bulldogs will have to hunker down, hike hard and dream of the beach while they fight through cold fingers and tows and frigid water temperatures that make any contact quite shocking.

Racing, which will be a test of toughness and strength, will begin at both locations at 9:30 a.m.

Report filed by Margot Benedict '12, Yale Sports Publicity