Another Day of Fluky Winds in Madison
MADISON, Wisc. – Yale spent today racing through two rounds of Gold Fleet action here at the ICSA/APS Team Race Championship. With six races remaining in the second round robin, the Bulldogs are in contention to qualify for the final-four bracket.
After skating through near-calm on Saturday, the Bulldogs finished in the top half of their group and transfered into the Gold Fleet. Group II opened the day's racing this morning to set the other half of the Gold Fleet field, and after a brief lunch break, the first of two Gold Fleet round robins commenced.
The team stuck with its light-air combinations, meaning seniors Thomas Barrows, Sarah Lihan and Marla Menninger, juniors Blair Belling and Elizabeth Brim, and sophomore Joseph Morris took to the water for the Bulldogs.
In the first Gold Fleet round robin, the Bulldogs amassed a 4-3 record, beating College of Charleston, Georgetown, Navy and Wisconsin but losing to Boston College, St. Mary's and Tufts. The second round robin proved more challenging for the team, finishing with a 2-4 record. Though the Bulldogs avenged their loss to Tufts in the first round as well as beat Wisconsin, they lost to Boston College, College of Charleston, Georgetown, Navy and Tufts. There is one race against St. Mary's still to be sailed.
The fact that the second Gold Fleet round robin has not been finished may prove to be crucial to who wins this championship. At the completion of the second Gold Fleet round robin, the four teams with the best overall records proceed to the final-four round. Yale currently sits tied for fifth in Gold Fleet with Navy, both posting a 6-7 cumulative record. The Navy squad must still race Tufts, which it beat in the first Gold Fleet round robin. Georgetown sits fourth with a 7-5 record, but still must sail against College of Charleston and Wisconsin. Georgetown beat both teams in the first round. If Georgetown wins either race, its 8-6 record will move it on to the final four and the Bulldogs will be eliminated. If, however, Georgetown drops both races and Yale beats St. Mary's, there will need to be a sail-off. If, in addition, Navy beats Tufts, Georgetown, Navy and Yale will enter a three-way sail-off. The winner of the sail off will earn the fourth berth in the final-four round. One other intriguing – albeit remote – possibility remains. The forecast for tomorrow is similar to the second day of women's semifinals, when there was no racing. If the sailor's are becalmed through most of the day, but the wind picks up in the evening, the race committee might find that it would only be possible to a final four without completing the last six races of the second Gold Fleet round robin. Left unfinished, that round robin would be nullified and the final four would be set based upon the results of the first Gold Fleet round robin. Yale was the sole holder of fourth place after the first round robin, meaning that the Bulldogs would qualify for the final four.
At the very least, intrigue abounds on Lake Mendota. Sailgroove will cover the action live online beginning at 9:00 a.m. CDT here, and a full recap will be posted on yalebulldogs.com after the day's action concludes.
Report by Andrew Kurzrok '11, Yale Sports Publicity