Bulldogs Fine Tune Skills for Championships Season
NEW LONDON, Conn.—The No. 11 Yale coed sailing team successfully tuned up for the semifinal championships next weekend, sailing to a fifth place finish at the Thompson Trophy hosted by Connecticut College in New London, Conn., on the Thames River. The Bulldogs also finished seventh at the Staake Trophy hosted by Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I., and fifth at the O-Toole Trophy hosted by Salve Regina in Newport, R.I.
Saturday dawned wet with heavy breeze from the south on the Thames River. By the early afternoon the breeze had fallen to less than five knots, before becoming steady once again. The race committee was able to complete eight races in both divisions.
Sunday brought fog and a brief wind hiatus. Around 10:15 a.m. the fog cleared and a southerly filled in. Five more races were completed before the regatta was cut off due to lack of time.
The freshman duo of skipper Christopher Segerblom and crew Amanda Salvesen finished fifth in A division. They finished in the top ten in 11 of the 13 races including a win in the seventh race.
Sophomore skipper Cam Cullman and junior crew Isabel Elliman finished second in B division, winning the tie-breaker for second and missing first place in the division by a mere six points. They only finished out of the top ten in the first race and went on to claim seven top-five finishes.
Elliman commented, "Because of the variable weather and wind we were forced to use all of our sailing knowledge including performing good roll tacks in the light air and using our heavy air skills in the stiffer breeze. The regatta tested our ability to react to the changing conditions and all weekend we had to pay attention to which side of the course was paying, where the puffs were coming from and where the shifts were."
Six Bulldogs spent the weekend in the Ocean State on Mt. Hope Bay at Roger Williams in Bristol, R.I team racing. Saturday was less than pleasant with unseasonably low temperatures and pouring rain with driving winds. The sailors zipped up their dry suits and headed out on the water until a lunch break was called when rotations got dicey due to the southeasterly direction of the breeze after all of the teams had completed four races. While the sailors were munching on lunch, the breeze built and the regatta was called for the day.
Sunday's weather was a complete 180-degree turn from Saturday's. Sailors arrived to find temperatures in the 60s with sunshine but unfortunately minimal breeze. The regatta was put on hold and an Easter bunny hunt took place while the sailors waited for the wind. It eventually filled but only allowed for the completion of one round robin and a final four round. The Bulldogs finished with a record of 1-6 putting them in seventh.
The Bulldogs were represented by skippers junior Robert Struckett and freshmen Max Nickbarg and Will Feldman. Crewing for the Bulldogs were senior Tatyana Camejo and juniors Margot Benedict and Stephanie Schuyler.
A third team of Bulldogs sailed at Salve Regina in the one day O'Toole Trophy hosted in Newport, R.I. Just as was the case in other parts of New England, conditions were rainy with breeze ranging from five to 15 knots. Sailing was conducted in combined divisions, which allowed for the completion of the rotation, ten races, by 1:30 p.m.
Junior skipper Genoa Warner and freshman crew Maddy Yozwiak finished third in A division. They finished in the top five in seven of the 10 races including a win in the second race. Freshman skipper Nace Cohen and sophomore crew Sinead O'Brien finished fifth in B division. They finished the day with two top-tens. Combined, the team finished fifth.
Next weekend the Bulldogs will head west to Long Beach, Calif., for the ICSA National Semifinals, with the goal of qualifying for the ICSA National Dinghy Championship that will be held May 30 to June 1 at the Columbia River Gorge in Cascade Locks, Ore.
Report filed by Margot Benedict '12, Yale Sports Publicity