No. 1 Bulldogs Team Race for Spot at Nationals
Bulldogs to Compete at New England Team Race Championships
NEW HAVEN, Conn.—The No. 1 Yale coed sailing team will once again return to the Charles River in Boston, its home away from home this season, in hopes of securing a spot at the ICSA Team Race National Championships. The Bulldogs will compete at the New England Team Racing Fowle Trophy hosted by MIT as well as at the George Morris Trophy hosted by Boston University, just up the river.
After a weekend off from qualifying, the Bulldogs will return to a high-pressure environment. Only the top three teams in New England will secure a spot at the National Team Race Championships, a difficult feat in such a competitive region. The Bulldogs have stepped up their competition at the New England championships that last few years, nabbing a qualifying spot even when they were not favored.
This year however, the Bulldogs are ranked number one in the nation and have been extremely successful in team race regattas as of late. After finishing a disappointing fifth at St. Mary's with a less than stellar Sunday, the Bulldogs regrouped to win the Southern New England Team Race. The Bulldogs also claimed second at the Marchiando Friis Team Race, despite having a different line-up.
Although the Bulldogs have found success this season, they have had a little bit of time off from team racing as they have focused on fleet racing the last few weeks. However, this week they have gotten some valuable time in on the water practicing as a team and getting any cobwebs out of the way before they hit the water on Saturday. Because the Bulldogs have such a deep team, they are able to have very productive practices against a strong second team that sometimes includes McNay Family Head Coach Zachary Leonard '89 who occasionally jumps in a boat to test the skills of his athletes.
The Bulldogs will face some extremely tough competition as many teams in New England are gunning for those few spots at Nationals. Their biggest competition will come from Boston College and Roger Williams. Boston College claimed the Marchiando Friis and has had some excellent races against the Bulldogs this season, sailing past their potential. Roger Williams was predicted to be the top team racing team in the country but has not quite had the results to prove that this spring. However, they are sure to come out with guns firing this weekend. Tufts and Connecticut College will also be pushing for one of the qualifying spots.
A team of Bulldogs will also return to BU for a fourth weekend to sail at the George Morris Trophy, which is the weekend's intersectional. The teams who did not qualify for the New England Team Race Championships will send their top teams to this regatta making it a competitive weekend for the Bulldogs despite the championship going on down the river. The Bulldogs are now well accustomed to the boats and the venue as a few of the pairs who have sailed there numerous times this year will return for another stab.
Report time at the Fowle Trophy is set for 8:30 in order for all of the logistics to be in place when the crew teams leave the Charles River while sailors will report to the George Morris at 10:30 to avoid the shells on the river.
Report filed by Margot Benedict '12, Yale Sports Publicity