September 24, 2010

No. 6 Bulldogs Charge Across East Coast

Team Competing In Five Events

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The No. 6 Bulldogs are back in action this weekend, travelling near and far to race in many conditions and types of sailboats.  Yale will attend the New England Match Race Championship at U.S. Coast Guard Academy, the Hood Trophy at Tufts, the St. Mary's Intersectional at St. Mary's College, the Loder Trophy at Dartmouth and the Salt Pond Invitational at Rhode Island.

Yale qualified for the New England Match Race Championship via its win two weeks ago at the Harman Cup at Maine Maritime Academy.  The Championship, known as the White Trophy, is unlike most college sailing regattas.  The event is not sailed in the traditional collegiate dinghy combinations of FJs or 420s, but a 26-foot keelboat known as a Colgate.  In addition, instead of the 18-boat fleet found in a fleet race regatta, the White Trophy will pair two of the 10 boats present to go head-to-head in a match race.  College sailing adopted the match race format this year; the America's Cup and the Olympics also use this style of racing.  Junior Joe Morris will steer the Colgate, freshman Chris Segerblom will trim the mainsail, freshman Max Nickbarg will trim the jib and manage sail changes — a job known as "the pit" — and freshman Amanda Salvesen will control gybes from the bow.  The top-two finishers at the White Trophy will qualify for the ICSA Match Racing National Championship.

Bulldogs at the Hood Trophy will take on Tufts' larks, a type of dinghy that mixes elements of both the FJ and 420 in its design.  The light vessel requires little wind to move forward, like an FJ, and will plane on top of the water, like a 420.  Last year, Tufts increased the size of the mainsail, turning the larks into turbo-charged dinghies.  If the breeze comes up on Tufts' shifty Mystic Lake it could mean trouble for competitors not used to the Larks' sensitivity.  Sophomore Cam Cullman will skipper in A division alongside senior crew Blair Belling.  Juniors Rob Struckett and Isabel Elliman will pair up in B division.  Both teams come into the weekend with strong momentum, each winning their respective divisions at the Hatch Brown Trophy and Lake Champlain Open last weekend.  Yale finished fourth at the Hood Trophy last year.

St. Mary's College of Maryland has begun a new regatta this year, the St. Mary's College Intersectional.  The event, to be sailed in 420s and FJs, will take place on the St. Mary's River.  Sophomores Claire Dennis and Heather May, who began the season racing A division at women's events, will try their hand at co-ed competition while still sailing A division this weekend.  Senior Andrew Kurzrok and sophomore Grace Zimmerly will pair up to race B division.

Early this spring an arsonist burned the University of New Hampshire's boathouse, which stored the team's entire fleet.  Reconstruction is ongoing, so the UNH team will run its annual Chris Loder Trophy out of Dartmouth's facilities this year.  Dartmouth has one of the shiftiest lake venues in New England, a challenge the women's team faced last week at the Mrs. Hurst Bowl.  Sophomore Emily Billing, out with an injury the past two weekends, will return to skippering duties with senior Alexa Chu as a crew.  Seniors Nathan Stevens and Tatyana Camejo will sail B division.

Rounding out a full weekend, Yale will travel to Rhode Island for the Salt Pond Invitational.  This Southern Series event will bring together 13 teams from around New England for two days of racing.  The sophomore class will represent Yale at the regatta: Zachary Foreman and Jo Hanle will sail A division with Rafael Fernandez and Senem Cilingiroglu racing B division.

Big breeze is forecast for the weekend, especially on Saturday.  The strongest winds will probably be at coastal regatta sites, particularly at the Hood and White Trophies.

Racing begins Saturday at 9:30 a.m. across New England and at 9:00 a.m. at St. Mary's.

Report filed by Andrew Kurzrok '11, Yale Sports Publicity

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