Bulldogs Branch Out
NEW HAVEN, Conn.—The No. 8 Yale coed sailing team will take to the water in a variety of boats this weekend in both team racing and fleet racing. One team of Bulldogs will travel to Cambridge and Medford Mass., for the Friis-Marchiando Team Race hosted by MIT and Tufts. Another set of Bulldogs will travel to Plymouth, Mass., for the Admiral Alymers Trophy hosted by the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. A third team will travel north on 95 to New London, Conn., for the Kruger Cup hosted by the Coast Guard Academy.
Last year, the Bulldogs finished third at the Friis-Marchiando Team Race, which is named for Jan Friis, the founder of the Tufts' sailing program, and Lynne Marchiando, a former standout MIT sailor. The team was composed of skippers junior captain Joseph Morris, Sarah Lihan '10 and Thomas Barrows '10 and crews seniors Blair Belling and Elizabeth Brim, Marla Menninger '10, Michael Hession '10 and sophomore Rafael Fernandez. The Bulldogs finished with a record of 11-6, just losing a tiebreaker to Tufts for second place.
The regatta is hosted by both MIT and Tufts, which allows for more teams to compete while still having a high number of races. Half of the team will report to Tufts on Saturday with the other half reporting to MIT. The locations of the teams will be released later in the week. While the fleet will be split randomly for Saturday, on Sunday the teams with the best records will report to one venue while those who did not fare as well in the first day of team racing will report to the other venue.
The two venues are not only different in terms of the waters sailed on but also in the boats used. Tufts sails on Mystic Lake, a puffy and shifty location that is known for sometimes lacking in the breeze department. In response, the Jumbos have larks with flat top mains in an attempt to increase the sailable conditions. Larks are essentially a mix between a 420 and an FJ. The flat top mains increase the sail area, thus increasing speed. MIT sails on the infamous Charles River, which also provides frustratingly shifty conditions. MIT has a fleet of FJs in which team racing will occur.
The team traveling to the Admiral Alymers will spend the weekend racing 420s. Massachusetts Maritime Academy sails on the Great Herring Pond, which while a step in size from adjacent Little Herring Pond, is still a rather small venue. While lacking in size, the pond certainly has plenty of character and always ensures that sailing occurring on the pond is interesting to watch.
The Bulldogs did not compete at the Admiral Alymers last year but have made many trips to Great Herring Pond in the past. Four sailors who usually sail on the women's circuit will compete for the Bulldogs at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. The Bulldogs have a very deep women's team and in order to allow all of the teams to compete every weekend they must compete in coed regattas. Skippers sophomore Emily Billing and freshman Marlena Fauer will be accompanied by crews freshman Eugenia Custo Grieg and junior Margot Benedict.
The third regatta that the Bulldogs will compete in is the Kruger Cup hosted by Coast Guard Academy. The Bulldogs will be sailing Colgate 26s, which are keelboats and are thus quite different than the boats that the Bulldogs normally compete in. The Bulldogs will send skippers freshman Max Nickbarg and junior Robert Struckett, both of who have experience in keelboats, along with crews freshmen Nace Cohen and Will Feldman.
While the Bulldogs have focused mostly on sailing in keel-less 420s and FJs in the past few years, the team has decided to branch out a bit this past season, sailing in more events in keel boats such as the Harman Cup and the New England Match Race Championship in the fall. These competitions allow for more Bulldogs per boat and give the sailors a more well rounded sailing experience. Many Yale alumnae go on to sail keel boats later in life and are happy to see the Yale team compete in more events such as the Kruger Cup which provide the undergrads with experiences that they may use later in their sailing careers.
Sailing will begin at all venues at 9:30 a.m. as all are taking place within the New England region.
Report filed by Margot Benedict '12, Yale Sports Publicity