No. 4 Bulldogs Gear Up for Spring Season

Claire Dennis and Heather May. (Photo by Lincoln Benedict)
Claire Dennis and Heather May. (Photo by Lincoln Benedict)

Despite Continued Cold Weather Bulldogs Take to the Water

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—While there may still be snow on the ground in the Northeast, the No. 4 Bulldogs are not daunted as the spring season kicks off, despite Mother Nature's continuance of winter conditions. The Bulldogs have thus far been prevented from taking to the water due to the lack of warm weather and breeze. However, the Bulldogs will at least get to sail this weekend as they kick off the season in warmer Charleston, S.C.

The Bulldogs had a very successful early fall season with numerous weeks as the number one ranked women's team in the country. However, the end of the season did not go quite as planned with a difficult weekend at the Atlantic Coast Championships in St. Petersburg, Fla. to end the season with a seventh-place finish at the beginning of November.

Despite the disappointing end to the fall season, the Bulldogs are well equipped and excited for the spring season. Unlike many other women's teams, the Bulldogs have great depth with four duos regularly sailing on the women's circuit.

Sophomores Claire Dennis and Heather May had a very successful fall season both together and apart. As a team they finished fourth in A division at the Yale Women's Intersectional contributing greatly to the Bulldogs win. They also finished third in A division at the Toni Deutsch Trophy and fourth in A division at the Victorian Urn. Dennis also claimed the victory at the National Singlehanded Championships, bringing the title back to Yale for the first time since 2006. The pair is primed for the season and ready to utilize the experience they have gained over three seasons sailing together. They will see their first action on the women's circuit at the Navy Women's Spring Intersectional Mar. 12 and 13.

Freshmen Marlena Fauer and Eugenia Custo Grieg took the college sailing circuit by storm in their first season. They finished first in B division at the Yale Women's Intersectional as well as at the Regis Bowl. Other highlights from the fall season include a second-place finish in B division at the Mrs. Hurst Bowl and a second-place finish in A division at the Finger Lakes Intersectional. They hope to carry their success onto the spring season and will sail at the opening regatta at the Charleston Women's Intersectional Mar. 5 and 6.

Juniors Genoa Warner and Stephanie Schuyler will also sail for the Bulldogs at the Charleston Women's Intersectional. Highlights from the Fall season include a sixth place finish in A division at the Regis Bowl as well as dominating win in B division at the Finger Lakes Intersectional. Hampered by injuries late in the fall season, the pair hopes to return to top form this Spring.

Sophomore Emily Billing and junior captain Margot Benedict will be reunited after a semester apart. While Benedict was studying abroad in Germany during the fall, Billing battled back from a serious ankle injury to finish fourth at the National Singlehanded Championships. She also won C division at the Navy Women's Fall Intersectional in the Laser Radial. Despite not having her regular crew, Billing also found success in doublehanded sailing finishing third in B division at the Stu Nelson with sophomore Senem Cilingiroglu. Billing and Benedict are excited to have the opportunity to sail together again. They will sail at the Navy Women's Spring Intersectional Mar. 12 and 13.

St. Mary's College is ranked No. 1 with Boston College No. 2 and Hobart William Smith No. 3. The Bulldogs will look to move up the ranks with strong finishes over the next few weeks. They will start off the season in Charleston, S.C. at the Charleston Women's Intersectional before spending the week in St. Petersburg, Fla. for spring break training. Their spring break will continue at the Navy Spring Women's Intersectional followed by training at St. Mary's College of Maryland and the St. Mary's Women's Intersectional.

Practice and regattas will be geared towards a successful Women's New England Championship and hopefully a return to the National Championships, which unlike last year, are virtually guaranteed to have wind, as they will take place at the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon.

Report filed by Margot Benedict '12, Yale Sports Publicity