Sixth Place Finish at Schuman Primes Bulldogs for Season Ahead
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.- The No. 3 Bulldog women’s sailing team started off the 2009-2010 season with a solid sixth place finish at the inaugural Antonia Schuman Trophy this weekend hosted by MIT on the Charles River. The regatta is named for Antonia Schuman, who was the first woman to win a varsity letter at MIT. As the first regatta of the year, the weekend was used to shake off some rust and prepare the Bulldogs for the long season ahead.
The regatta was sailed in two fleets of FJs (one from the host MIT and the other from Harvard, whose boathouse is just down the river). Wanting to get a full rotation in, organizers had both A and B division sail 16 races on Saturday in a Northeast, 7-10 knot breeze in the rain. Sophomore Genoa Warner said that the conditions on Saturday were “typical Charles River—very shifty, very puffy, very tricky.” Sunday marked the completion of the rotation with 8 races sailed in breeze of 4-9 knots that shifted around from the North West, South West, and North. Warner remarked that on Sunday there was “slightly less wind but it was still quite puffy and shifty.”
The Bulldogs have spent the last few weeks sailing in the brand new fleet of 420s at the McNay Family Sailing Center. The shift to sailing the leaner FJ is not always easy, but the Bulldogs were able to recall their FJ skills from the spring and sail some excellent races. Senior skipper Rebecca Jackson with junior crew Elizabeth Brim sailed to a seventh place finish in A division. They finished in the top five in half of the 24 races, including wins in the 18th and 19th races. Sophomore skipper Genoa Warner with freshman crew Heather May sailed an extremely consistent regatta to finish fifth in B division. They finished in the top five in 15 of the 24 races, including a win in race 11. The Bulldogs finished with a combined score of 264. The regatta was won by Tufts University.
The Antonia Schuman is a promotional regatta, which allowed the Bulldogs to get their feet wet without the pressure that intersectionals bring. Warner said that despite the rainy conditions it was “awesome to be back on the water sailing for Yale again.” This regatta will hopefully serve as a jumping off point for the team as they seek to defend their National Championship title from this spring.
Now tuned up and ready to go, the Bulldogs will be back on the water September 19th and 20th at the Mrs. Hurst’s Women’s hosted by Dartmouth College in Enfield, N.H.
by Margot Benedict '12, Yale Sports