Billing and Salvesen Win B Division
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – After its week of training down in Florida, the No. 1 Yale women's sailing team returned to competition this weekend. In difficult conditions on Annapolis' Severn River, the Bulldogs finished fifth out of 20 teams at the Navy Women's Interconference Regatta hosted by the US Naval Academy.
This regatta saw the biggest collegiate women's fleet in quite some time. Nonetheless, because the Naval Academy has a fleet of both FJs and 420s, the race committee was able to complete a full rotation of 20 races. A division started the regatta on Saturday in FJs while B division started in 420s. The divisions switched fleets after both had completed 10 races.
Saturday was a particularly challenging day of racing on the Severn River. According to the TechScore regatta report, the eight races earlier in the day were completed in a "northwesterly that got spottier and spottier as the day went on." Eventually the wind began to shift east and the race committee sent racers in for a break to wait for the conditions to stabilize. After the break, three more races in each division were held in five to 10 knots of breeze before the day had to be called off when the wind died entirely.
Despite challenging conditions, Yale's B division team, sailed by junior skipper Emily Billing and sophomore crew Amanda Salvesen, ended the day with the fewest points in the division. Billing reported that on Saturday "everybody was having tough races so it was all about staying focused on passing boats from whatever position you were in." Four top-three finishes helped to balance out a couple of double-digit finishes in Billing and Salvesen's score line. The fact that their inconsistent scores proved to be the best of the day just attests to the difficulty of the conditions.
Billing and Salvesen continued their strong performance on Sunday with two individual race victories helping them to seal their overall victory in B division.
Yale's A division boat, sailed by junior skipper Claire Dennis and senior crew Margot Benedict had a more difficult time with Saturday's puffy and shifty conditions. Dennis and Benedict stood 15th in their division after Saturday's 11 races. However, they were able to turn things around a little on Sunday and several top-three finishes helped them to move up four places in the final results.
Light wind was a major theme in Sunday's conditions as well, but the shifts got relatively less unpredictable.
The Bulldogs now have a four day break before they have to be back in Maryland. They plan to practice with the St. Mary's College of Maryland Seahawks on Friday in preparation for the St. Mary's Interconference Regatta over the weekend.
Report filed by Chris Segerblom '14, Yale Sports Publicity