Bulldogs Sail For A Spot In the National Championships
NEW HAVEN, Conn.—The No. 11 Yale coed sailing team will make the trip across the country to Long Beach, Calif., for the ICSA National Semifinal Championships this weekend. The top nine teams at the semifinals will continue on to the ICSA National Championships at the end of May. The Bulldogs will also sail at the George Morris Trophy hosted by Boston University on the Charles River.
Since 2008, the Intercollegiate Sailing Association has held National Semifinal Championships to determine the 18 teams that will sail at Nationals. Prior to the introduction of semifinals, each region was allotted a certain number of spots in the national championships. However, because the regions have different levels of competition, the national championship did not necessarily have the top 18 teams represented. With the new qualification system, each region qualifies a certain number of teams to the semifinals. Each semifinal is made of 18 teams with the top nine teams from each semifinal going on to the national championships, making the fleet at nationals extremely strong and independent of regional quotas.
In both 2009 and 2010 the Bulldogs took home the win at the National Semifinals, easily making the cutoff for the National Championship. In 2009 the National Semifinals were held in Boston Harbor and coincided with the Volvo Ocean Race's stop in Boston. Last year, the semifinals were split between Charleston, S.C., and Seattle, Wash. Due to the common sentiment that having both semifinals in the same place is more exciting and enjoyable, the semifinals will be sailed in the same place again this year. The Bulldogs will be sailing in the Western Semifinals with many top teams including No. 1 Roger Williams, No. 4 Boston College, No. 6 St. Mary's and No. 9 Hobart William Smith.
The Bulldogs will travel west with a large team so that they will be prepared for all types of breeze. The team will be composed of skippers junior captain Joseph Morris, sophomore Cam Cullman and freshman Chris Segerblom and crews seniors Blair Belling and Elizabeth Brim, sophomore Heather May and freshman Eugenia Custo Grieg.
Another team will travel less distance to the George Morris Trophy hosted by Boston University on the Charles River. The Bulldogs have had plenty of experience sailing on the Charles River this year and hope to capitalize on the knowledge they have accumulated. Sailing for the Bulldogs will be skippers sophomore Emily Billing and freshman Max Nickbarg and crews freshman Amanda Salvesen and junior Margot Benedict.
The National Semifinals will begin on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. PST with the Morris Trophy kicking off at 9:30 a.m. EST.
Report filed by Margot Benedict '12, Yale Sports Publicity