March 31, 2011

No. 2 Bulldogs Preparing for the Dellenbaugh Trophy

Team Gunning for a Winning Streak

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After a win at the St. Mary's Intersectional and not finishing outside of the top-3 in any regatta so far this season, the Yale women's sailing team has been  bumped up from the No. 4 spot to the No. 2 spot in the national rankings.  With this confidence booster, the Bulldogs are looking forward to racing in another big intersectional this upcoming weekend, the Dellenbaugh Trophy hosted by Brown University.

Last weekend the women had a weekend off from women's competition, but for most of the Yale women that does not mean they were not sailing.  Team members were scattered along the east coast, as they are on most weekends, racing in various coed events from Boston all the way down to Norfolk, Va.  The multitude of events that Yale enters each weekend allows its team to provide as many of its members as possible with continual, quality racing experience. 

Two key members of the women's team, sophomore skipper Claire Dennis and sophomore crew Heather May, have recently been competing in coed team racing events more than usual; however, they will be back racing in A division at the Dellenbaugh Trophy this weekend.  Their temporary absence from the women's scene was due to a need to fill the spot of an injured coed team member.  That coed sailor and his crew are back now, though, and Dennis has expressed that she is very excited to return to racing with the women.  That is not to say that Dennis and May's recent time spent team racing has not been valuable.  In comparison to fleet racing, team racing regularly involves a fair bit more fine-tuned boat-handling, so the past few weekends have undoubtedly strengthened their skills in that department.  Also, because team racing tends to require a more aggressive tactical mindset, Dennis and May might be pleased to find that such experience can be helpful on the starting line and in other boat-to-boat situations while fleet racing.

While Dennis and May will be racing in A division for the Bulldogs, sophomore skipper Emily Billing and junior crew Margot Benedict will be racing in B division.  Billing and Benedict have had an especially strong season together thus far, and Billing is coming off of a second-place B division finish at the Ivy Championship last weekend.  

While the weather on Thursday and Friday is supposed to get quite wet, forecasts say that the skies in Providence, R.I., are supposed to clear up just in time for the weekend's event.  Forecasts are also calling for strong northwest winds ranging from 12 to 17 knots all weekend. 

With good weather in the forecast and the team up in the rankings, it should be another exciting weekend of sailboat racing for the No. 2 Yale women's sailing team.

Report filed by Chris Segerblom '14, Yale Sports Publicity