April 11, 2011

No. 8 Bulldogs Claim Fifth at the Marchiando Friis Trophies

Bulldogs Face Shifty Conditions Across New England

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The No. 8 Yale coed sailing team had a successful weekend across New England despite a last minute schedule change due to the possible government shutdown. The Bulldogs finished fifth at the Marchiando Friis Team Race, losing to one team in a three-way tie for fourth. The Bulldogs also finished sixth at the Admiral Alymer's trophy and sailed at the Southern Series Three, which they sailed instead of the Kruger Cup.

On Saturday, the team of Bulldogs sailing at the Marchiando Friis Team Race reported to Mystic Lake, a venue that often lives up to its name with mysterious and esoteric conditions. The day began with a southerly that switched around from south to northwest, causing some race abandonments and an early lunch break. The wind filled in from west-southwest providing the typical shifty conditions.

The Bulldogs had a good day sailing the larks, finishing 8-4 and tied for second with Connecticut College. Their finish put them in the gold fleet on Sunday along with the three other top-four teams at Tufts and the top-four teams that sailed at MIT on Saturday.

Sunday dawned light and shifty at MIT on the Charles River in Cambridge, Mass., with racing conducted in FJs. The breeze built throughout the day, even allowing for some hiking by the end of the day. The breeze ranged from south to northwest but spent most of its time coming from the southwest and west.

The Bulldogs finished Sunday with a 7-7 record tying them for fourth place with No. 7 Brown and No. 12 Tufts. The race committee pushed for a tiebreaking round robin but was only able to complete two races for each team. All three teams finished this short round with a record of 1-1 so the tie had to be broken by points. Brown was able to pass the Bulldogs through this method but Tufts remained behind the Bulldogs, leaving them in 5th place. The regatta was won by No. 2 Charleston.

Due to the light conditions, the Bulldogs did not utilize their heavy crews. Skippers sophomore Cam Cullman, freshman Chris Segerblom and junior captain Joseph Morris sailed with crews freshman Amanda Salvesen, senior Blair Belling and senior Elizabeth Brim.

Morris said, "Saturday was a really good day for us. On Sunday we had some good races and are right on the cusp of being able to break into the top four. Overall we did well but certainly have things to work on."

The Bulldogs also sailed at the Admiral Alymers hosted by the Massachusetts Maritime Academy on the Great Herring Pond in Plymouth, Mass. The great pond provided some extremely shifty and puffy conditions with wacky wind shifts and auto-tacking conditions at points.

Saturday started off extremely light. The race committee was determined to continue racing despite the five-minute pauses of no wind that A division endured. It was stop and go for the first set with extremely wacky tacking angles, which made racing less than ideal. The wind finally filled in a bit more consistently and continued to build throughout the day. However, the breeze was far from solid and the sailors had to adjust to massive lulls and puffs that often came right after one another. A division completed eight races while B division sailed six races.

Sunday began with a more consistent breeze but was still frustratingly shifty and crazy. Wanting to mix it up, the race committee sailed gold cups rather than windward-leewards. Because there was little passing on the second and third legs, the start and first leg became that much more important. The rotation was completed by 2 p.m.

Sophomore skipper Emily Billing and junior crew Margot Benedict finished tenth in A division, winning a tiebreaker against the University of Rhode Island. Freshmen skipper Marlena Fauer and crew Eugenia Custo Grieg finished second in B division with three wins. The team finished in sixth overall.

Because of the threat of the government shutdown, which would cause the Coast Guard Academy to close and the Kruger Cup to be cancelled, the Bulldogs elected to sail at the Southern Series Three hosted by Providence College in Cranston, R.I., instead. Juniors skipper Rob Struckett and crew Isabel Elliman and freshman skipper Will Feldman and sophomore crew Sinead O'Brien sailed for the Bulldogs. Full results were not available at press time.

Next weekend, all of the Bulldogs will transition back to fleet racing with the New England Dinghy Championships, the qualifiers for the National Semifinals, headlining the weekend.

Report filed by Margot Benedict '12, Yale Sports Publicity