October 26, 2009

No. 1 Bulldogs Win Sherman Hoyt Trophy

Team Takes Fifth Victory In Seven Weeks

NEW HAVEN, Conn. --  The Bulldogs proved once again why they are the top-ranked team in the country, winning the Sherman Hoyt Trophy at Brown.  Strong winds remained a theme across New England, providing a strong counterpoint to the light winds which prevailed earlier this season. Yale sailors also competed in the Oberg Trophy at MIT and in Southern Series Seven at Yale.

The Hoyt Trophy was a tale of two breezes.  On Saturday a large storm system plowed through the Northeast, bringing with it wet weather and very strong southerly winds.  Brown's sailing venue near Providence, R.I., is open to the south, allowing powerful gusts to blow across the racecourse.  By Sunday the storm had passed and a shifty and puffy northerly predominated.  Being fast in both types of conditions, as well as being able to shift between them, would prove to be the key to success.  Senior skipper Thomas Barrows paired with senior crew Michael Hession and junior crew Blair Belling to come home second in A division.  Barrows and Hession won a race together, and the group tallied 75 points in 14 races.  Sophomore skipper Joe Morris joined forces with a number of crews to win B division.  Hession spent part of Sunday crewing for Morris, who also sailed with senior Marla Menninger and freshman Rafael Fernandez.  Morris recorded race wins with Menninger and Fernandez, finishing the weekend with 80 points.  Overall, Yale bested second-place finisher Boston College by 12 points, 155 to 167. 

Six Bulldogs competed in the Oberg Trophy at MIT.  The three-division regatta utilizes MIT's fleets FJs and Tech Dinghies.  Due to its positioning relative to Saturday's storm, the Charles River was becalmed on Saturday with no racing taking place.  Sunday brought an 8-14 knot breeze that allowed for 12 races in each division.  The FJs sailed a course known as the "Harry Anderson", named for Harry H. Anderson Jr.  '43. The course has three reaching legs, which are angled approximately 135 degrees away from the wind direction.  The Tech Dinghies sailed a windward-leeward course. 

Sophomores Rob Struckett and Margot Benedict finished sixth in A division with 86 points, winning the opening race of the regatta.  Freshmen Claire Dennis and Heather May finished 13th in B division with 125 points.  Freshman Emily Billing and sophomore Jared Shenson finished sixth in C division with 96 points.  As a team, Yale finished 10th with 307 points.  The event was won by Dartmouth.

Yale also hosted Southern Series Seven at the McNay Family Sailing Center.  The Bulldogs entered two teams in the event, which provided a chance for a number of sailors to see their first collegiate action.  Though early forecasts suggested that 30 knot gusts were in the offing, Saturday dawned remarkably still.  A division began the regatta in 3-5 knot breezes.  The wind built throughout the day, and racing was eventually called after gusts exceeded 18 knots.  Sailing for team "Bulldogs", junior Andrew Kurzrok and freshman Grace Zimmerly finished third in A division, while senior John Vrolyk and sophomore Isabel Elliman took fourth for team "Elis".  B division featured new faces on the Yale sailing roster.  Junior Nathan Stevens and freshman Senem Cilingiroglu finished sixth for "Bulldogs".  Freshman Zachary Foreman and sophomore Christopher Ell split skippering duties on team "Elis", finishing seventh with freshman crew Juliana Hanle.  Overall, Yale finished fourth and seventh.  The event was won by Connecticut College.

Next week the Bulldogs will return to Boston for the Erwin Schell Trophy at MIT and the Northeast Freshman Championships at Boston University.

report by Andrew Kurzrok '11, Yale Sports Publicity. 

 

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