September 11, 2011

No. 1 Bulldogs Begin Season with a Third-Place Finish

38 Races Sailed on Saturday Alone

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – When the No.1 Yale women's sailing team left New Haven for Cambridge on Saturday morning, they knew they were in for a long day of racing, but they didn't know how long.  Sailors at the third annual Toni Deutsch Trophy regatta, hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, completed an astounding 26 races in both A and B division over the course of the weekend.  20 of those races were run on Saturday alone for A division, 18 for B division.  Nonetheless, the Yale women proved to possess a high level of mental and physical stamina as they finished the regatta third out of the 14 competing teams.

To put it in perspective, 26 races is just two shy of being four times as many races as were completed at the national championships last spring.  On most weekends throughout the season, typically the maximum number of races sailed is 18. 

When asked what it was like to have to sail so many races in one regatta, Yale sophomore skipper Marlena Fauer commented that "it was pretty insane, but at the same time cool because individual races didn't make or break you".  This makes sense if you consider the fact that the more races there are in a series, the less each individual race is weighted in the final total. 

That said, every race and every point lost or gained in each race counts.  Fauer and her sophomore crew Eugenia Custo Greig made it clear that they were on a mission this weekend to give up as few points as possible.  With no double-digit finishes in any of the 26 races, the sophomore Bulldogs ended up winning B division by an impressive 41 points.  They came first or second in more than half of the races. 

Sailing in A division for the Bulldogs were junior skipper Claire Dennis and sophomore crew Anna Han.  Although they didn't get off to the hottest start, Dennis and Han racked up nine top-five finishes over the two days of racing.   

Somehow, after 52 races between two divisions of 14 teams, the final results came down to the very last race.  The Brown Bears edged out the Boston College Eagles in the final race to win the event by three points while Yale finished only 11 points behind the victors.  11 is quite a small number when you consider that the winning team finished with a total of 266 points. 

Check out the final overall standings at this site and follow along next weekend as the Yale women's sailing team heads up to New Hampshire for the Mrs. Hurst Bowl.

Report filed by Chris Segerblom '14, Yale Sports Publicity

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