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Bulldogs Ranked No. 1, Racing at Navy This Weekend

Dennis and Benedict flatten out of a roll tack during a day of practice in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Dennis and Benedict flatten out of a roll tack during a day of practice in St. Petersburg, Fla.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Yale women's sailing team claimed the No. 1 spot in this week's national rankings and is preparing to defend that ranking at the Navy Women's Interconference Regatta this weekend.  The new ranking comes after the team placed second at the Charleston Women's Regatta, its first competition of the spring season, last weekend.  Charleston was the Bulldogs' first time on the water since November, but this week they were finally able to rig up and go sailing at their home venue in Branford, Conn.

This weekend's regatta will be hosted by the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and will be sailed on the Severn River in both FJs and 420s.  The Naval Academy's large fleet of dinghies enables it to run more races in a single weekend because all divisions can be racing at the same time.  Last year 20 races were sailed in both A and B division at this event. 

The same squad that earned the Bulldogs a fifth-place finish at this regatta last year will be returning to try to improve upon that result.  Senior skipper Emily Billing and junior crew Amanda Salvesen, the duo that finished second in B division in Charleston last weekend, will duke it out in A division this weekend.  Meanwhile, senior Claire Dennis will skipper B division accompanied by sophomore crew Kate Gaumond.  This will be Dennis' first regatta of the season, but Gaumond has raced with the Yale coed sailing team during the past two weekends.

"We are just looking to focus on having a solid first weekend together and identifying what to work on over the spring break training week," said Dennis.

After racing this weekend, the Bulldogs will fly to St. Petersburg, Fla., where they will spend five days training with Eckerd College and several other teams.  The venue where they intend to practice is the same venue where the ICSA National Championships will be held in May.

Usually the team's spring training trip takes place during the week leading up to the Navy Women's Regatta, but this year spring break is a week later.  As a result, the Bulldogs have had fewer opportunities to practice than they normally have by this time.  However, head coach Zachary Leonard '89 reported that the team's practice on Tuesday, when the weather was nice, was very productive.

The Bulldogs will hit the road for Maryland after classes end on Friday.  Report time for the regatta is 9:00a.m. on Saturday.   

Report filed by Chris Segerblom '14, Yale Sports Publicity