New Haven, Conn. – The Yale women's sailing team, ranked No. 3 in the preseason coaches' poll, will kick off the spring season this weekend at the Navy Women's Interconference Regatta. After finishing their midterm exams, the Bulldogs will hop in a car to travel to Annapolis, Md., on Friday afternoon. They have yet to get on the water in 2014 due to this harsh winter, but are looking forward to racing nonetheless.
Junior skipper Morgan Kiss said, "I'm excited to get back in the boat and it will be a great opportunity to practice at the nationals venue."
It is true. The 2014 ICSA Women's National Championship will be sailed at the same venue as this weekend's event so the sailors will be paying extra close attention to the local wind patterns.
The Bulldogs are motivated to prove themselves after a disappointing finish to what was, overall, a strong fall season. They finished sixth at the Women's Atlantic Coast Championships (ACCs) in November, after holding the No. 1 national ranking for most of the season. However, some time off may have been exactly what the Bulldogs needed at that point. By the time of the ACCs, they had raced nearly every weekend for two and half consecutive months.
In contrast, the women's sailing team has now not practiced since the ACCs. The past three months have given the Bulldogs the opportunity to take their minds off sailing for a while and recharge for the spring season. This weekend will be an opportunity to start fresh.
Last year, the Bulldogs were also unable to practice prior to their first regatta of the spring, yet they still managed to finish second place.
A team of familiar faces will be representing the Bulldogs at the Navy Women's. Kiss and senior crew Amanda Salvesen will race in one of the two divisions while seniors Marlena Fauer and Eugenia Custo Greig race in the other. Which division each duo will compete in is still to be determined by the coaching staff, but ultimately it does not matter because both divisions' scores are equally weighted in the team's overall score.
The Bulldogs will need to pack warm for their trip to Maryland. Temperatures are supposed to be in the 30s all day Saturday and in the 40s on Sunday. However, the team has much nicer weather to look forward to. Immediately following this weekend's racing, the sailors will fly to St. Petersburg, Fla., for the team's annual spring break training trip. Monday through Friday of next week will be spent practicing with Yale's coed varsity sailing team as well as the University of South Florida sailing team and a few distinguished Yale alums.
Make sure to follow this weekend's results here and look forward to future updates on what is sure to be another exciting season.
Report filed by Chris Segerblom '14, Yale Sports Publicity