April 9, 2009

No. 3 Bulldogs Go For Three-Peat at Friis-Marchiando Team Race

April 9, 2009

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Friis-Marchiando Team Race has been a historically strong event for the Bulldog coed sailing team and the team hopes that this year will be no different. The Bulldog squad, which has won the event the past two years, will be looking for its third title in three years as competition gets underway on Saturday. The team will also compete at the 24th Admiral Alymers Trophy, hosted by Massachusetts Maritime Academy, and Southern Series Four.

The Friis-Marchiando Team Race will be a great opportunity for the Bulldogs to win their second team race intersectional of the young spring season. The Bulldogs won the Mendelblatt Team Race at South Florida and were leading the Admiral Moore Team Race before it was cancelled. The Friis-Marchiando Team Race, which is co-hosted by MIT and Tufts, will have the Bulldogs looking to defend their title as champions when they went 12-2 last year. The Bulldogs won the title in 2007 with a 6-1 record.

The regatta should feature strong competition. On Saturday, the Bulldogs will compete in a qualifying group at MIT while another qualifying group will compete at Tufts. Included in the Bulldogs' qualifying group are No. 4 St. Mary's, No. 6 Roger Williams, No. 12 Brown, No. 17 MIT, Bowdoin, Dartmouth and Salve Regina. Ranked teams competing at the Tufts qualifying round include No.1 Boston College, No. 5 College of Charleston, No. 7 Harvard, No. 11 Tufts and No. 18 Boston University. The top four teams from each venue's qualifying round will compete in a Championship Final hosted by MIT on Sunday while a Consolation Round will take place at Tufts.

The sailing at MIT will take place on the Charles River, a historically shifty and light air venue. The Bulldogs are experienced at the venue, though, as Boston Universitym Harvard and MIT all host their regattas on the Charles River. The Bulldogs won the Atlantic Coast Tournament in the fall at the Harvard venue. The sailing at MIT should make for great spectating. The competition at the MIT venue takes place just off the docks of MIT's sailing center and MIT has colored sails for their FJs that are matched by teams. This makes it very easy to see the positions that each team is in.

In team racing, each school has three boats racing at one time against one other school. The boats from each team help their teammates get in front of the competition and try to achieve winning combinations. The colored sails will make it very easy to see the combinations that the teams are in, so the spectators will have an easy time telling if a team has a winning combination or not.

The Bulldogs will also compete at the 24th Admiral Alymers Trophy hosted by Massachusetts Maritime. Massachusetts Maritime hosts its regattas at Herring Pond, a small pond that is known for its shifty wind. The venue, which has a fleet of 420s, however, can at times get very windy, although lighter wind is more normal. The tree-lined venue frequently has very patchy wind, so the sailors have to constantly look around on the course and try to connect the puffs of wind to stay in contention.

The Bulldogs have been steadily moving up in the rankings at the event. Last year, the team placed 10th overall, with a sixth-place finish in B division and a 13th-place results in A division. This was an improvement over 2007, when the team took 14th.

The Bulldogs will also compete at the Southern Series Four event hosted by Rhode Island. Competition will take place in FJs at the Rhode Island venue, which is a large salt pond that frequently can get strong, shifty wind. Unlike the other two regattas, competition will only take place on Saturday.

All three events have a report time of 9:30 a.m.

Report filed by Caleb Dorfman '09, Yale Sports Publicity

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