March 6, 2011

No. 4 Bulldogs Take Second at Charleston Women’s

Spring Season Off On the Right Foot

CHARLESTON, S.C. — In their first weekend back on the water, the Yale women's sailing team proved that they have been hungry to come out of hibernation and get the spring season off to a good start.  Leading the regatta after day one and ultimately finishing second overall, just five points behind the winning team from Georgetown University, is as much as anyone could have asked of them after having not sailed for the past three months. 

Nine teams were represented at the Charleston Women's Intersectional and in order to get more boats on the starting line the race officials decided to combine the A and B divisions.  This makes scoring a touch more difficult because in the end sailors are really only scored against the other boats from their division; however, for the sailors it is a lot more beneficial in the long-run to be racing against more boats at once. 

Junior skipper Genoa Warner with junior crew Stephanie Schuyler started the regatta off on a very stellar note, winning four of the first five races in B division.  The lighter five to eight knot winds on Saturday posed ideal conditions for the lightweight team.  That said, despite their small size, even in the bigger breeze on Sunday the two juniors were at one point able to string together four first-place finishes in a row.  It was only in the final race, when the wind picked up to above 20 knots, that Warner and Schuyler actually exhibited the true inconvenience of their lightweight combination.  A score of DNF in that race means that the team was rendered incapable of finishing the race. Yet, even with the 10 points that those letters added to their score Warner and Schuyler were still able to clinch the overall win in B division.

In A division, the freshman team of skipper Marlena Fauer and crew Eugenia Custo Greig also performed at an impressive level for just getting back in the boat.  They started the regatta off with top-three finishes in six out of the first seven races and went on to win a couple of races as well.  Their fourth-place finish in the highly competitive A division was crucial to the Bulldogs' second place overall team finish. 

All things considered, the most valuable thing that the Yale women will take away from the past weekend is the general experience of getting back on the race course and finding their sea legs again.  The Charleston venue provided a spectrum of different conditions including light winds, heavy winds, and also strong tides.  This variety should serve as a good reminder to the Bulldogs of how prepared they have to be to adjust to varying conditions. 

With a regatta already under their belts in the new season, the Bulldogs are now off to St. Petersburg, Fla. to spend five days training with the rest of their team.  They will also be practicing against the team from the University of South Florida which generously invited them to share their boats, facilities and warm waters.  After what essentially promises to be a productive practice week, the Bulldogs are off to Annapolis, Md. next weekend for the Navy Women's Intersectional hosted by the Naval Academy. 

Report filed by Chris Segerblom '14, Yale Sports Publicity   

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