TAMPA, Fla. - This weekend the Bulldogs open their spring season in the Sunshine State competing in the Mendelblatt Team Race at the University of Southern Florida. The sailors are excited to get back on the water and begin team racing.
Here is Yale’s Team for this weekend:
Louisa Nordstrom (rotating in)
The four skippers will be rotating in and out each race, and likely rotating starting positions as well. Their toughest competition will be Charleston, last year’s national champions. The weather forecast shows temperatures in the high 70s, with a southerly breeze at around 8-10 knots both days, which are perfect sailing conditions.
In the spring, the team shifts its focus to team racing, a 3v3 style that pits one team against another and has a win/loss scoring system instead of fleet racing’s low-point score. It’s fast paced, exciting, difficult to execute, mentally challenging, and incorporates a number of “plays” which can be practiced. The goal is to get 10 points or less as a team to win. This means a team finishing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th will win, even if they did not secure first place. There are a few of these winning finishing positions called “combos.” Look for teams to finish in 2-3-4, 1-2-x, and 1-4-5 combos often on the score sheet.
The sailors often enjoy this type of racing more. The rules are changed to facilitate aggressive engagement, and the shorter courses make for lots of close quarters action. Without any practice days under their belt (it’s been too cold), Yale’s team will test its strength against southern teams, which have been practicing for weeks
Also worth noting is the success the team had in the off-season. They placed second at the team race mid-winters, and have received several recognitions from the ICSA. They are currently #1 in the preseason rankings, and have seen the most nominations for conference sailors of the year than any other team: Three (of eight total nominees) for coed sailor of the year, two for women’s sailor of the year (of 6), three for coed crew of the year (of 6), and one for women’s crew of the year (of 6). This is an extremely impressive showing, and indicative of the team’s incredible fall season.
Racing begins at 9 am on Saturday and can be followed live at https://collegesailing.org/
Report filed by Nic Baird '19, Yale Sports Publicity