September 27, 2009

No. 6 Bulldogs Qualify Three to National Singlehanded Championships

Four Bulldogs Exhibit Singlehanded Talents at Boston College

BOSTON, Mass.- The No. 6 Bulldogs fared extremely well at the New England Singlehanded Championships this weekend hosted by Boston College at the Savin Hill Yacht Club in the Dorchester section of Boston Harbor. Senior Sarah Lihan led the team, finishing second with freshman Emily Billing in third, freshman Claire Dennis in fourth, and senior Rebecca Jackson in 11th. As top five finishers, Billing, Dennis, and Lihan qualified for the Singlehanded National Championships, which will be held in Corpus Christi, Tex. on Nov. 6 through 8. The last time three Bulldogs qualified for Singlehanded Nationals was in 2006 when Emily Hill ’07, Lihan, and Jane Macky ’09 finished first, second, and third at the New England Championships.

On Saturday, nine races were held in southeast breeze from six to nine knots for the majority of the day, with a few races sailed in upwards of 12 knots. The sun came out to make a great day of sailing. Lihan said, “The conditions were standard for college sailing with shifty and puffy breeze.”

 On Sunday, the remaining five races were sailed in southerly breeze. The day began with six to 10 knots and built to 10 to 13 knots for the final two races. Unfortunately a wet front moved through, creating less inviting conditions.

The Bulldogs ignored the raindrops and made up for the weather with some fabulous results. Lihan finished the regatta in second behind Boston College’s Annie Haeger with 40 points. Lihan had four wins in the fourteen races and only finished outside of the top five in one race. Billing finished in third with 60 points. She won two races and finished in the top five in 10 races. Right behind in fourth, Dennis finished with 69 points. She finished in the top five in nine races. Jackson finished up with 137 points to take 11th place. She had one top five result and was in the top 10 in eight races. The fifth New Englander qualifier for Nationals was Elizabeth Barry of Brown.

The experienced senior Lihan will be joined by two of the latest additions to the Bulldogs, Billing and Dennis, at Singlehanded Nationals in about a month. Lihan said, “It will be great to have all three of us at Nationals as we have done a lot of sailing together before.”

In fact, Billing and Lihan have sailed together for ten years, while Dennis has sailed with them for five years. This summer the trio traveled together, competing in many Laser Radial regattas around the world including the Laser Radial European Championships in Denmark and Kiel Week in Kiel, Germany. Dennis and Lihan also competed at the Laser Radial World Championships in Karatsu, Japan.

While Billing, Dennis, and Lihan regularly sail the singlehanded Laser Radials, Rebecca Jackson grew up sailing double-handed. Last year she sailed in the New England Championships but has had little experience in Laser Radials besides that. It was quite remarkable that she was able to compete with some of the best Laser Radial sailors in the country.

Next weekend the Bulldogs will head in two separate directions. One team will head to Boston University to sail in the Regis Bowl on the Charles River, while another team will head to Cornell for the promotional Finger Lakes Women’s Intersectional.

Full Results

Report by Margot Benedict ’12, Yale Sports Publicity