No. 12 Bulldogs Open Season With Win at Mendelblatt Team Race
Feb. 16, 2009
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The No. 12 Bulldog coed sailing team opened the spring season of competition at the Mendelblatt Team Race this Saturday and Sunday with a big season-opening win. The team, which finished with a 6-1 record in the Championship Round, came away as the champions of the first collegiate team race of the year.
For the Bulldogs, who were competing for the first time at the Mendelblatt Team Race hosted by No. 15 South Florida and Eckerd in St. Petersburg, Fla., this was the first opportunity to get on the water after not racing since mid-November. This was also the third year in a row that the team has won the first team race event of the year. The past two years, the team has come away victorious at the John Jackson Team Race hosted by Navy and Georgetown.
The win at the John Jackson Team Race is an impressive accomplishment for the team. Skippering for the team were junior captain Thomas Barrows and freshmen Cameron Cullman and Joseph Morris. Crewing for the Bulldogs were seniors Grace Becton, Adriane Levin and sophomore Blair Belling. This was the first collegiate team race for both Cameron and Morris, which makes the win very impressive because team racing is very dependent on communication among team mates. Barrows last competed in a collegiate team race event at the New England Team Race Championships in May 2008.
More than anything else, the event gave the team a jump start to the season. The Bulldogs, like most of the teams in the northern part of the country, have not been able to get on the water to practice sailing. As such, the racing was an opportunity to get a little practice in before the weather warms up and the team is able to practice at their McNay Family Sailing Center facility.
Sailing started off on Saturday with light air conditions that had a bit of chop and current. The first round of competition was equally divided into two divisions of seven teams of competitors. The top four competitors from each of the two divisions then advanced to the Championship Round Robin. Wind was very shifty on Sunday, building to a high of ten knots. The Championship Round Robin, which was held on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, treated the team well, with the Bulldogs going 6-1, the best record of the event. The next best team, South Florida, had a 5-2 record followed by five teams with a 3-4 record.
The win is very impressive for the young Bulldog team, especially because it was the first time the team has ever raced together in competition. The team will next be in competition at the Charleston Spring Intersection hosted by the No. 10 College of Charleston on Saturday and Sunday.
Video footage by sailgroove.org of the race between Yale and Hobart is available here.
Video footage by sailgroove.org of the race between Yale and South Florida 1 is available here.
An interview with Morris about the racing can be viewed here.
Report filed by Caleb Dorfman '09, Yale Sports Publicity