April 29, 2013

Bulldogs Earn Direct Berth to Nationals

MEFORD, Mass. – After the regatta was postponed due to the terrorism events in Boston, the No. 1 Yale Women's sailing team finally competed in the Women's New England Championship this weekend.  The team finished second overall, just shy of claiming the Reed Trophy but good enough to secure itself a spot at the 2013 ICSA Women's National Championship. 

Only the Bulldogs and the Boston College Eagles who won the event will get to skip the semifinals stage of qualification and go directly to the nationals.  The teams that finished third through eighth this weekend will have to compete in an additional regatta in order to secure their national championship berths.

Racing for the New England Championship took place on Mystic Lake in Medford, Mass.  Competitors spent the first half of Saturday waiting for wind, but it eventually filled from the southeast at four to seven miles per hour and 10 races were able to be sailed—six in A division and four in B division.  The Bulldogs sat fourth in the overall standings after day one. 

On Sunday the wind showed up much earlier and 10 more races were able to be completed for a total of 10 in each division.  Big wind shifts kept things interesting on the race course and according to the official regatta report, "a few races were abandoned in order to keep racing fair."

Junior skipper and team captain Marlena Fauer reported that "it was pretty weird out on Mystic Lake but… it was important to not get frustrated and to keep chipping away at the fleet." 

Fauer and sophomore crew Katherine Gaumond sailed the Bulldogs' B division boat for races one through eight.  Their lightweight combination was quick in lighter air, but according to Gaumond, "since we were in larks we got overpowered pretty quickly."  Tufts' boats have greater sail area than FJs or 420s.

In response to the building breeze, senior skipper Claire Dennis and sophomore crew Urska Kosir were sent out for the last two races in B division.  They capped things off with two strong third-place finishes, helping the Bulldogs to a second place finish in B division.

In A division, sophomore skipper Morgan Kiss sailed with Kosir until the last set when Gaumond and Kosir switched divisions due to the stronger winds.  Maintaining top five finishes for most of the regatta and winning race 10, helped the Bulldogs to fourth in A division. 

Now that they have secured their spot at the nationals, the Bulldogs get to spend the next month preparing.  The Yale coed sailing team also qualified for its national championship this weekend so the two teams will continue to practice together in Branford, Conn., until May 21st when they are scheduled to be in St. Petersburg, Fla., for the start of the ICSA Women's National Championship.

Report filed by Chris Segerblom '14, Yale Sports Publicity

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