April 3, 2011

No. 7 Bulldogs Return to Team Racing

Complete Team United for First Time

NEW LONDON, Conn.—The No. 7 Yale coed sailing team gracefully transitioned back to team racing after a weekend of mostly fleet racing, sailing at two team races in Connecticut. Both teams stayed within 50 miles of Yale, finishing sixth at the Southern New England Team Race hosted in New London, Conn. by the Coast Guard Academy and Connecticut College and taking the win at the Ted Ferrarone Team Race at the McNay Family Sailing Center in Branford, Conn.

While big breeze was predicted for the entire northeast for the weekend, it never showed up on Saturday at the Thames River for the Southern New England Team Race. The breeze came out of every direction except East and died for large parts of the day before completely shutting off at 4:45 p.m. Despite the hard work of two race crews, one from Connecticut College and one from the Coast Guard Academy, on two courses, not even one round robin was completed.

Thankfully, the predicted breeze filled in on Sunday. It ranged from 12 to 25 knots allowing for the substitution of heavy crews for most teams. The round robin was completed but due to the new end time of 3:00 p.m., rather than the previous 4:00 p.m. cutoff, only a top-three sail off was sailed to try to break the tie for first.

For the first time this season, the Bulldogs fielded their complete team. Sailing for the Bulldogs were skippers sophomore Cam Cullman, freshman Chris Segerblom and junior captain Joseph Morris. Crewing for the Bulldogs were freshman Amanda Salvesen, seniors Blair Belling and Elizabeth Brim, freshman Eugenia Custo Grieg and sophomore Rafi Fernandez.

Cullman commented, "It was puffy and shifty both days. At some points the current was slack while at other points it was ripping. Teams who recognized the change in the current were able to adjust and make huge gains off the start line."

The Bulldogs finished with a record of nine wins and six losses. No. 8 Harvard won the regatta with No. 4 Roger Williams in second and No. 2 Boston College in third.

The Bulldogs were pleased by their performance. Cullman said, "It was our first team race as a full group. The racing was really close and it came down to a protest for fourth place. We were very happy with the way the weekend went."

The other team of Bulldogs competed against five other teams at the Ted Ferrarone Team Race at the McNay Family Sailing Center.  The regatta is named for former Yale sailor Ted Ferrarone '98 who was one of the founders of the regatta in 1997.  Ferrarone bought all of the sailors pizza on Saturday after racing ended.

Unlike on the Thames, the predicted big breeze filled in at Short Beach on Saturday. Breeze ranged from five to 20 knots but spent most of its time between 10 and 15. Due to the small fleet, two round robins were completed.

Sunday began with a tame eight to 15 knots from the northwest allowing for a quiet start to the third round robin before the breeze suddenly built to 20 knots and kept rising to 25 and then even having gusts of 30 knots. With boats capsizing right and left, the powerboats raced around attempting to help boats right and sail in. One boat got away from its skipper and crew and headed into the rocks. Thankfully, neither the sailors nor the boat were significantly damaged and the only casualty was a broken spreader. Because the breeze was unmanageable, racing was called after coach Bill Healy had everyone count his or her fingers and toes.

The Bulldogs capitalized on their home water advantage and took the win with a record of 8-2 through the two completed round robins. They won the tiebreaker against NY Maritime by virtue of their win against them in the incomplete third round robin.

The victorious Bulldogs team was composed of skippers senior Andrew Kurzrok, freshman Max Nickbarg and junior Robert Struckett. Freshman Anna Han, junior Isabel Elliman and senior Tatyana Camejo crewed for the Bulldogs.

Next weekend, the Bulldogs will sail at the Marchiando Friis trophies in Cambridge, Mass., the Kruger Cup in New London, Conn., and the Admiral Aylmers in Buzzard's Bay, Mass.

Report filed by Margot Benedict '12 Yale Sports Publicity