No. 2 Bulldogs Head South To Start Season

Emily Billing and Margot Benedict.
Emily Billing and Margot Benedict.

CHARLESTON, S.C. — After a three-month break, the No. 2 Yale women's sailing team will return to competition this weekend.  The Bulldogs have not been able to make it out on the water in frozen New England yet, but they will fly to Charleston, S.C., for the Charleston Women's Interconference Regatta to get their spring season started.

Although teams in warmer regions of the country have already begun practicing, the Bulldogs have not let a late start affect them in the past.  Yale did not get to practice prior to the Charleston Women's Regatta last spring either, yet the team managed to finish second overall.  Three out of the four members of that 2012 team will be returning to represent Yale in Charleston this year.

The regatta this weekend will be sailed in FJs and in a combined-division format because only nine teams are registered.  Each division will be scored separately, but combining them on one starting line is meant to simulate the fleet size of most other regattas, including the nationals.    

One of Yale's two boats will be sailed by junior skipper Marlena Fauer and junior crew Eugenia Custo Greig.  The second will be sailed by senior skipper Emily Billing and junior crew Amanda Salvesen.

Fauer, who took over the role of team captain from Billing during the offseason, said that this regatta will be an opportunity for the team to "hone in on what we need to focus on during spring break."  The team is scheduled for a week of training in St. Petersburg, Fla., during spring break. 

Weekend forecasts call for winds to blow from the northwest at around 10 miles per hour on both Saturday and Sunday.  In addition to wind shifts though, the Bulldogs will have to factor in current.  Current is a variable that is not relevant on all race course, but on Charleston's Cooper River it can be very strong.  Not to mention, runoff from Charleston's recent rainstorms is likely to exacerbate the river's tides. 

Follow the Bulldogs' results online as their spring season gets underway.

Report filed by Chris Segerblom '14, Yale Sports Publicity