No. 4 Bulldogs Take Fifth at “the Trux”

Team Performs Well Across Four Divisions

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Bulldogs wrapped up two weeks of spring break training with two events this weekend, sailing the Truxton Umstead Intersectional at the U.S. Naval Academy and the Veitor Trophy at Salve Regina.  Yale took fifth at the Truxton Umstead, better known as “the Trux,” and sixth at the Veitor.

Unlike many college events, the Trux is a four division affair.  Sailors race 420s, FJs, Laser Standards, and Laser Radials.  A and B division are sailed in classic collegiate boats, the FJ and the 420.  The divisions switched platforms after Saturday’s racing.  The two Laser fleets provide an unusual blend of college sailing-style tactics with a large-course dinghy.  The Laser, an Olympic class boat, is frequently raced in wide, open venues with multi-mile legs.   Collegiate Laser racing utilizes a standard trapezoid course several hundred yards long and is highly reliant on boat-on-boat racing.  Courses with long legs require a very different strategy than those with short legs, and combining the Laser with a short course a challenge for many sailors.

In keeping with much of the team's spring break racing, Yale faced light conditions at the Trux this weekend.  After a postponement on Saturday morning, six races were sailed in each division before the wind collapsed.  The Bulldogs performed well throughout the event, netting strong finishes across the four fleets.  Senior Thomas Barrows and junior Blair Belling and sophomore Joseph Morris and senior Marla Menninger took first in A and B division respectively, with senior John Vrolyk finishing 18th in the Laser Standard and freshman Claire Dennis taking third in the Laser Radial.

The Trux is one of the largest fleet racing events of the spring, and is considered a precursor to the ICSA semi-finals and the ICSA/Gill Dinghy National Championship.  Few protests kept sailors away from the judges all day, and by weekend’s end the race committee had accrued a massive amount of time-on-the-water.  According to the regatta report by Navy, “our team members ran a total of 295 races and spent nearly 15 hours in a staring sequence.” 

The two-division, two day Veitor Trophy at Salve Regina saw similar tactical intrigue.  Over the course of a single race, each side of the race course appeared to be extremely favored.  Picking the side of the course that would ultimately pull the boat up the course the quickest proved to be an elusive art.  In A division, junior Andrew Kurzrok and freshman Grace Zimmerly finished 11th with 139 points.  Senior Becca Jackson and sophomore Jared Shenson put together a strong score line to finish second in B division with 58 points. 

With spring break behind them, the Bulldogs will mix both fleet and team racing into their racing schedule.  The Bulldogs plan on putting in the docks at the McNay Family Sailing center this week.  After a week’s worth of practice in Short Beach, the Bulldogs will race in the Ivy League Championship at Brown and the Roger Williams Team Race invitational.   

Report by Andrew Kurzrok '11, Yale Sports Publicity