No. 6 Bulldogs Seek to Qualify for Atlantic Coast Championships at New England Championships

Oct. 31, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The No. 6 Bulldog coed sailing team will compete at the Schell Trophy on Saturday and Sunday for the right to represent the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association (NEISA) at the Atlantic Coast Championships Nov. 15-16. The Schell Trophy, which is recognized as the unofficial Fall New England Championship, will feature the top 16 teams from NEISA and two out-of-conference teams. The Bulldogs will also compete at the Freshmen New England Championships hosted by Massachusetts Maritime.

The Schell Trophy is one of the oldest regattas in college sailing and the most competitive primarily in-district event of the year. In its 68th year, the Schell Trophy is hosted each year by MIT on the Charles River in one fleet of Techs and one fleet of FJs, with A and B Divisions each splitting time between the fleets. Because of the two fleets of boats, the regatta usually features a high number of races, which is particularly important where erratic wind shifts can sometimes result in unexpected bad results. The teams will also have to adjust to sailing the Tech dinghy, a doublehanded boat that has only one sail and is primarily sailed at MIT. The event is the final qualifying event for NEISA schools for the Atlantic Coast Championships, which features the top 18 East Coast schools in college sailing who have qualified through their districts. The Bulldogs, who have not yet qualified for the ACCs, will need to sail strongly at the event to qualify. The top three teams at the event that have not already qualified for ACCs will gain berths in the event.

The Bulldogs had one of their most successful performances at the event in 2007. They placed second, led by junior captain Thomas Barrows in B Division. Barrows, who is now sailing A Division for the Bulldogs, placed second, losing on a tie breaker to MIT senior Brooks Reed. Barrows' strong performance in B Division along with a third-place finish by Zachary Brown '08 and senior Grace Becton allowed the Bulldogs to achieve their highest finish since 2004 at the regatta, when the team also placed second.

A group of the Bulldog freshmen also will compete at the Freshmen New England Championships for the Nickerson Trophy. The event, which will be held in 420s on the shifty and puffy Herring Pond venue at Massachusetts Maritime, should feature the top freshmen sailors who are not competing at the Schell Trophy. The Bulldogs last competed at the event in 2006, when they placed fifth. The Bulldogs placed third in 2004 and second in 2003 at the event.

Report filed by Caleb Dorfman '09, Yale Sports Publicity