March 17, 2011

No. 4 Bulldogs Headed to St. Mary’s to End Spring Break

Sailors Looking to the Finish a Productive Break Off Strong

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Coming off two strong weekends of racing and a full week of intense practice, this weekend the No. 4 women's sailing team is off to race in the St. Mary's Women's Intersectional, hosted by St. Mary's College of Maryland. 

The Yale women have just had three days off from sailing after hitting the water for nine days straight to start the season.  This short break was an opportunity for the Bulldogs to take a breather and to allow time for all the lessons they learned in the first week to sink in.  They will be returning fresh on Thursday to St. Mary's City, Md., where they will have two days of practice with the St. Mary's College team before racing in the weekend's regatta. 

Sailing for the Bulldogs in A division will be sophomore skipper Emily Billing along with junior crew and captain Margot Benedict.  This duo finished fourth in A division last weekend at the Navy Women's Intersectional and is looking to improve on that already strong performance.  In B division for the Bulldogs will be, once again, the freshman team of skipper Marlena Fauer and crew Eugenia Custo Greig.  They are also looking improve on a strong third-place B division performance from last weekend. 

As the team continues to ease back into the colder northeastern climate after its week in Florida, the weather appears to want to cooperate.  Forecasts call for temperatures in Maryland to be very similar to last weekend with highs reaching the upper 50s and lower 60s.  The sailors will have to wait to see what the wind actually decides to do, but they do have the advantage of getting two days of practice at the regatta venue prior to racing.  Also, the women's team is essentially swapping locations from last weekend with the coed team which raced at St. Mary's while the women raced at Navy.  The women should be able to share some of their observations of the Severn River with coed sailors in return for some basic advice regarding weather patterns on the St. Mary's River. 

In general, conditions on the St. Mary's River can be anything during the college sailing season so the Yale women should be ready with open minds.  Last weekend the coed regatta at St. Mary's at times saw solid breeze that got some teams substituting heavier crews while at other times racing was delayed due to no wind.  One thing they should know going in though is that most often the wind shifts are oscillating because from most directions the wind comes off the land that surrounds the mile-wide basin where the course is set. 

After two days of practice and getting accustomed to the St. Mary's weather conditions, the Bulldogs should be well-prepared to have another good regatta as they head into the third weekend of the season.  After the final race it is back to New Haven for the Bulldogs where they will be returning to their studies as well as a routine practice schedule.

Report filed by Chris Segerblom '14, Yale Sports Publicity