May 8, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The No. 3 Bulldog coed sailing team has their most important team race regatta of the year this weekend with a berth to the ICSA/APS Team Racing National Championship on the line. The Bulldogs, who are coming off of a win at the fleet racing ICSA National Western Semifinal, need to place in the top three at this weekend's New England Team Race Championships for the Fowle Trophy hosted by No. 6 Roger Williams in FJs to make it on to the National Championships.
The Bulldogs, who missed out on making the National Championships last year by two places have been doing well this season in team racing. They started off the year with a win at the Mendelbatt Team Race hosted by No. 8 South Florida and then went on to continue to race strongly especially considering two of the four skippers that have been rotating in to sail are freshmen. The team went on to take second at the John Jackson Team Race, go 6-0 at the Admiral Moore Team Race, which was not completed due to a lack of wind, take third at the very competitive Southern New England Team Race and third at the Marchiando/Friis Trophies Team Races.
Now, though, the Bulldogs will have their biggest test of the season, with 12 teams from the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association (NEISA) vying for only three berths to nationals. The Bulldogs will start out in a qualifying group of six. The team will race along with Roger Williams, No. 15 Boston University, Brown, MIT and Rhode Island. The top teams from this round robin will then move onto the finals, where the top three teams will qualify for the ICSA/APS Team Racing National Championship.
Competition will be fierce in the finals. Freshman Joseph Morris believes that the competition in team racing in NEISA is the best in the country.
"NEISA is a very competitive district and the best at team racing," Morris said. "There are probably five teams in NEISA that are capable of winning nationals and only three get to go on. It will be tough, but we are going to be working hard though exams and will be practicing and hope to qualify."
Racing will get underway at 9:30 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
Report filed by Caleb Dorfman '09, Yale Sports Publicity