October 30, 2011

No. 1 Bulldogs Show Strength of All Classes

Bulldogs Qualify for Atlantic Coast Championships

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The success of the No. 1 Yale coed sailing team this weekend bodes well for its success in both the near and more distant future. The Bulldogs finished third at the top regatta of the weekend, the Erwin Schell Trophy hosted by MIT on the Charles River, qualifying them for the Atlantic Coast Championships, and crushed the competition at the Freshman New England Championships at Connecticut College, winning by over thirty points. The Bulldogs also finished third and seventh at the Dave Perry Trophy at the McNay Family Sailing Center in Branford.

Saturday presented interesting conditions across New England and the Charles River was no different. The breeze started off light but filled in to a very puffy 15 to 20 knots with rain, sleet and snow providing even more difficulties as fingers and feet went numb as the day progressed. Twelve races were sailed in each division, with A division sailing the first nine in tech dinghies and finishing out the day in FJs and B division doing the reverse.

Sunday provided the opposite weather conditions with beautiful sunshine amid the melting snow. The final six races to complete the regatta were sailed in a breeze of three to 16 knots from the north-northwest.

Senior captain Joseph Morris battled inconsistencies at the beginning of both days but finished out the days strongly and claim third place in A division. Senior Isabel Elliman crewed for the first two races while junior Heather May crewed races three through 18. The combined team finished in the top five in half of the races, with three wins, including a victory the last race of the regatta.

Junior Cameron Cullman skippered the B division boat to a third place finish as well. Even more crews contributed to the B division effort as senior Genoa Warner sailed races one through eight and 13 to 18, junior Zachary Foreman sailed race nine and senior Margot Benedict sailed races 10 through 12. The various combinations collected 11 top fives including three wins.

The Bulldogs finished a mere four points out of first and two points out of second after mounting an impressive comeback on Sunday. By finishing in the top-seven they claimed a spot at the Atlantic Coast Championships, which will be hosted by Harvard Nov. 12 and 13. Dartmouth, Harvard, Brown, Roger Williams, MIT and Tufts will join the Bulldogs as the New England representatives at the Championships, which will pit the best teams from the East Coast against each other and serve as the final regatta of the fall season.

The Bulldogs performance at the Nickerson Trophy, the New England Freshman Championships, is a great sign for the Bulldogs' success over the next three years. Connecticut College hosted the regatta in FJs on the Thames River, which offered similar conditions to its evil stepsister, the Charles. Saturday offered cool conditions with snow and rain and breeze from five to 18 knots. Sunday brought sunny skies with breeze of 15 to 20 knots.

Freshmen skipper Graham Landy and Katherine Gaumond won A division by twenty points, winning five of the 11 races. Freshman skipper Morgan Kiss and crews sophomore Will Feldman and freshman Sarah Smith won B division with four wins and no finishes out of the top five.

The Bulldogs also fielded two teams at the 2nd Dave Perry Trophy hosted at the McNay Family Sailing center. The team of skippers sophomore Max Nickbarg and senior Robert Struckett with crews sophomores Emily Farr and Anna Han finished third. The team of skippers junior Rafael Fernandez, freshman Urska Kosir and senior Jared Shenson and crews Takaomi Konari and sophomore Madeline Yozwiak finished seventh. The Bulldogs faced trying conditions including intense fog and snow that limited visibility so much that racing had to be postponed for part of Saturday.

Next weekend, Cullman will travel to the Men's National Singlehanded Championships hosted by Northwestern in Chicago, while the rest of the team has the weekend off to rest and reboot for the Atlantic Coast Championships, which will take place in two weekends.

Report filed by Margot Benedict '12, Yale Sports Publicity

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