NEW HAVEN, Conn. – This weekend, the No. 1 Yale women's sailing team will head to Annapolis, Md., to compete at one of the biggest intersectional regattas of the fall season. The Women's Navy Fall Intersectional, hosted by the U.S. Naval Academy, is a three-division event, meaning that every team will have three different boats on the water at the same time. A and B division will share time between Navy's double-handed fleets of 420s and FJs, while C division will sail single-handed laser radials the entire time.
Each of Yale's boats at this weekend's event will be helmed by one of the skippers who competed at last weekend's nail-biting New England Singlehanded Championship. Sophomore Urska Kosir will return to the radial for another weekend and skipper in C division. Seniors Claire Dennis and Emily Billing will skipper in A and B division, respectively.
In A division, Dennis will be sailing with sophomore crew Kate Gaumond. They will be looking to maintain the undefeated record that they have as a team so far this season. Although it has been three weeks since they last raced in a regatta together, the last time was at the Mrs. Hurst Bowl where they won B division by 45 points.
Junior crew Amanda Salvesen, an Annapolis local, will sail with Billing in B division. Last year, Billing and Salvesen were instrumental in the Bulldogs' victory at this same regatta. Billing finished third in C division while Salvesen helped her freshman skipper to win B division. This year, they will join forces to see how they can do in B division.
Weather forecasts for the weekend in Maryland look slightly damp, but they also call for five to 15 knots of breeze from the west-northwest. This is good because the sailors are going to need all the wind that they can get this weekend in order to overcome the turbulent sea state that they are likely to have. The 43rd annual United States Boat Show is scheduled to take place this weekend very near to the regatta's race course and it is likely to bring a lot of boater traffic along with it. This will stir up the waters of the Severn River and add an extra element to the racing. Sailors often refer to these rough seas produced by powerboat engines as "boat chop."
Follow the Bulldogs' results online as they battle the "chop" and race to defend their 2011 Women's Navy Fall title.
Report filed by Chris Segerblom '14, Yale Sports Publicity