Team Garners First-Place Vote In National Poll
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The No. 6 Bulldogs carry on the fall campaign this weekend with three regattas. Yale will attend the Danmark Trophy at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, the Smith Trophy at MIT and Southern Series Three at Connecticut College.
Though the Bulldogs remained in sixth in Sailing World's September 29 national poll, the team received a first-place vote, its first of the season. Five teams – Boston College, Harvard, Georgetown and St. Mary's being the other four—received first-place votes, a testament to the tight competition found in college racing.
The Danmark will test the Bulldogs' skills in both of the classic collegiate boats, the 420 and the FJ. Coast Guard has a full fleet of each type of dinghy, and the two divisions will switch crafts halfway through the regatta. Yale is the reigning champion of the Danmark, out-gunning currently top-ranked Boston College last year. The competition will surely be as stiff this year as five of the top six teams in the national rankings will attend the event. In A division, junior Joseph Morris will sail with freshman Amanda Salvesen. Joining Morris and Salvesen at the event will be sophomore Cameron Cullman and senior Blair Belling. Last year, Morris finished third in B division with Marla Menninger '10, and Belling won A division with Thomas Barrows '10.
Yale will also travel to MIT for the Smith Trophy, sailed in the Tech Dinghy. The Tech is MIT's custom-designed boat, a wide, single-sailed vessel with a large centerboard and rudder. The boat is considerably less advanced than the FJ or 420, but part of the Tech's beauty is its simplicity. She is easy to sail, but difficult to master. Furthermore, the ever-tricky Charles River means that even sailors that do understand the Tech must stay constantly focused if they hope to win. Senior Elizabeth Brim will guide three freshmen through their first Tech Regatta. In A division, Brim will sail with Chris Segerblom. Anna Han and Max Nickbarg will sail B division. The event is named for MIT Professor George Warren Smith, a professor of electrical engineering and longtime friend of collegiate sailing.
Lastly, the Bulldogs will sail Southern Series Three at Connecticut College. Sailed just up the Thames River from Coast Guard's venue in New London, Conn., the regatta will present many of the same conditions facing Danmark sailors. In A division, senior Andrew Kurzrok will race with sophomore Grace Zimmerly. Sophomore Zach Foreman will skipper in B division, with a crew yet to be determined.
A large storm will blow through New England in the next several days, blasting the region with winds up to 44 miles per hour. How quickly the storm passes by will control the wind conditions, but breezy race days could certainly be in the forecast.
All racing begins Saturday at 9:30 a.m.
Report by Andrew Kurzrok '11, Yale Sports Publicity