September 29, 2008

No. 3 Bulldogs Excel In Hood Trophy Victory

Sept. 28, 2008

Hood Trophy Results

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The No. 3 Bulldogs won their first regatta of the year with an impressive win at the Hood Trophy Intersectional on Saturday and Sunday at Tufts in Medford, Mass. The Bulldogs also competed at a number of other events across New England, all of which were hampered by a lack of wind and heavy rain.

The highlight of the Bulldog's weekend was the win at the 24-team Hood Trophy. After finishing in third place in 2007 at the event, the Bulldogs proved that the Mystic Lake venue is well suited to the team, despite competing in the light air and shifty breeze that is not commonly found at the Bulldog's McNay Family Sailing Center venue. The win at the event is the highest finish by the Bulldogs in more than a decade at the event. The light wind and rain hampered racing, though. On Saturday, three races in A Division and two races in B Division were sailed. On Sunday, a single race in B Division was sailed. The three races in each division is the minimum number of races that need to be sailed for the event to count as a regatta. Most college regattas aim to have 18 races completed in each division.

The team finished with 13 points. The next closest competitor was Salve Regina with 31 points. The defending champions from Tufts placed fourth with 40 points.

In A Division, junior captain Thomas Barrows and sophomore Blair Belling won A Division with an astounding four-point total over three races. The duo won the first two races of the event and went on to finish second in the final race. This consistency is very impressive considering the strong, 24-team fleet and shifty nature of the wind that makes consistency very tough to accomplish.

In B Division, freshman skipper Joseph Morris and junior crew Michael Hession won with 9 points. The duo placed second two times and finished in fifth in the other race.

While the shortness of the event did not allow much time for improvement and testing of different techniques, the Bulldogs still felt that it was a good learning experience.

"We learned a lot of boat handling in the Larks from Thomas on Saturday," Morris said. "Larks are a nice boat to try sailing in as they are quite fun. We worked on our ability to stay calm and this helped as huge gains were to be made on the last two legs of the race. This was my first big regatta and it was great to win B Division, something I was not expecting going in to the event. This will give me confidence that I can sail with the top sailors in college and shows that we can win major intersectionals."

The Bulldogs also travelled to the 11th Chris Loder Trophy hosted by New Hampshire. The team of freshmen Cameron Cullman and sophomore Elizabeth Brim in A Division and senior Caleb Dorfman and freshmen Alexandra Kerr in B Division were met by heavy rain, fog, and a two-knot breeze that quickly died on Saturday. The sailors returned on Sunday to similar conditions. The wind never filled in, preventing a single race from being started at the event.

Light air and rain also met the Bulldogs at the Team Race Series One event hosted by Boston College in 420s. The team of senior Emmet Smith, sophomore Andrew Kurzrok, and freshmen Rob Struckett, Genoa Warner, Jared Shenson, and Alison James placed sixth with a 2-5 record in team racing competition. The team beat the squads from Harvard and McGill. The sailors returned for the Invite event the next day to no wind and rain, resulting in no races being sailed.

The Bulldogs are next in competition on Saturday and Sunday at the Danmark Trophy at Coast Guard and the Smith Trophy at MIT. The Bulldogs will also be hosting the Southern Series Three event at the McNay Family Sailing Center. The skipper's meeting will take place at 9:30 a.m.

Report filed by Caleb Dorfman '09, Yale Sports Publicity