Tough racing on Lake Mendota
MADISON, Wisc. – After a morning of racing on Lake Mendota, the Bulldogs rounded out the ICSA/APS Team Race Nationals in a tie for sixth place. Despite breezes that led to frequent race abandonments, the race committee managed to squeeze in the final six races of the second Gold Fleet Round Robin. Yale had one race to sail, but could not hold off St. Mary's.
The Bulldogs entered the day with a chance at the final four, but the lake's characteristic light winds meant nothing could be assured. Several races were started and subsequently cancelled, leaving competitors visibly frustrated. At times, one team would have the victory assured, only to have the race abandoned and lose the re-sail to their opponents by a large margin. With three teams vying for one sport in the final four, Yale knew it would have to perform well and be aided with a bit of luck. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Even before the Bulldogs could take to the water to challenge St. Mary's, Georgetown beat Wisconsin to secure their own berth in the finals.
Playing for pride, Yale took on St. Mary's in variable breeze. The wind strength meant that the Bulldogs would race with their lighter combinations for the third day in a row. Sailing was seniors Thomas Barrows, Sarah Lihan and Marla Menninger, juniors Blair Belling and Elizabeth Brim and sophomore Joseph Morris.
Despite the Bulldogs' best efforts, St. Mary's managed to finish with a 1-3-4, eliminating Yale. This brought the Bulldogs' Gold Fleet record to 6-8, tying them with Navy for sixth. St. Mary's would go on to win the national championship later this afternoon.
Tomorrow, Yale will begin its quest for a fleet-racing national championship. The three-day, two-division event will test the Bulldogs against 17 of the best teams in the country. Racing begins at 9:30 a.m. CDT, and a live feed of the racing can be seen here.
Report by Andrew Kurzrok '11, Yale Sports Publicity