September 23, 2009

No. 1 Bulldogs Gear Up For Weekend Action

Team Looks To Defend Last Year's Hood Trophy Win

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The No. 1 Bulldogs are hitting their fall stride and will compete in two events this weekend. Sailors will travel to the Hood Trophy at Tufts University and the Chris Loder Trophy at University of New Hampshire.

After a national pre-season ranking of third, the Bulldogs claimed the top spot in this week's ranking vote by coaches. The Bulldogs received 11 first-place votes, giving the team 309 points. Georgetown University ranked second with four first-place votes and 297 points. The Bulldogs have won two events in two weeks this season, an impressive display of strength and consistency.

Yale is the defending champions of the Hood Trophy, sailed on the ever-shifty Mystic Lake in Medford, Mass. Last year's Hood was sailed in very light breezes, with only three races per division being run. Sophomore Joe Morris and junior Blair Belling raced for the Bulldogs at last year's event and will be joined this weekend by sophomore Rob Struckett, junior Liz Brim and freshman Heather May. Unlike many college sailing venues, Tufts sails the Lark, a double-handed dinghy designed to respond quickly to the lake's changing wind velocity and direction. How teams adapt to this equipment change can often affect the final standings.

Four sailors will head north to Durham, N.H., for the Chris Loder Trophy. Junior Andrew Kurzrok will be paired with sophomore Margot Benedict and sophomores Genoa Warner and Stephanie Schuyler will sail together for the Bulldogs. Last year's Loder Trophy was canceled because of a lack of wind, but Kurzrok sailed the event as a freshman.

Notably, three Bulldogs will not be racing for Yale this weekend. Thomas Barrows, Mike Hession and Marla Menninger, all seniors, will take the weekend off from intercollegiate racing to compete in the U.S. Team Racing Championship. The event, known as the George R. Hinman Trophy, pits teams of three boats against one another. Each team tries to achieve a total score of 10 or less. The three Yale undergraduates will team up with Bulldog alumni Stu McNay '05, Zach Brown '08 and Emmet Smith '09 in their quest for a national championship. The event, hosted by Beverly Yacht Club in Marion, Mass., runs Friday-Sunday.

All collegiate racing begins Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

report by Andrew Kurzrok '11, Yale Sports Publicity