September 22, 2011

No. 1 Bulldogs Gear Up For Busy Weekend

Bulldogs Set to Sail In Four Regattas

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—The No. 1 Yale coed sailing team will look to rebound from an off weekend by spreading across New England and sailing in four different regattas, in three different types of boats. One team of Bulldogs will sail at the Hood Trophy hosted by Tufts in Larks. A second team will look to qualify for the National Sloop Championships at the New England Sloop Championships hosted by Boston College in Sonars. A third team will travel to the University of New Hampshire for the Chris Loder Trophy in FJs. A fourth team will also be sailing in FJs at the Salt Pond Invitational hosted by the University of Rhode Island.

While most of the Boston area schools sail on the Charles River, Tufts has its own frustrating and unpredictable venue in Mystic Lake. Aptly named, Mystic Lake offers plenty of puffy and shifty conditions of its own, often in an attempt to upstage its evil cousin, the Charles River. Because Mystic Lake does not offer much wind, Tufts sails Larks with huge flat top mains. The Larks are college racing dinghies on steroids and the flat top mains give the sail more surface area, allowing for sailable conditions in less wind. Last year the Bulldogs finished third at the Hood Trophy.

Another group of Bulldogs will sail in the Boston area but will have the opportunity of heading out into the harbor at the regatta hosted by Boston College. The Larry White Trophy will decide who gets to represent New England at the National Sloop Championships, which are being held in San Francisco at the end of November. For the second year, college sloop racing is being conducted in the match race format. Boats are paired up and have a head to head battle around the course. A bracket is then used to determine a winner. The top two teams will qualify for the National Championships. The Bulldogs finished fifth at the White Trophy last year.

A year and a half ago, an arson fire destroyed the University of New Hampshire boathouse, boats and sails as well as many team members' gear. As a club team, there was no varsity funding to get the team up and running again. Instead the team members and the coach had to raise money and travel great distances in order to have any practice time. With a new boat house, boats and sails, they are extremely excited to host the Chris Loder Trophy this year, named for a former sailor who will be in attendance taking pictures. UNH sails on Mendum's Pond, which offers classic puffy and shifty lake conditions, which will be a theme for the Bulldogs this weekend.

A fourth team of Bulldogs will head to the University of Rhode Island for the Salt Pond Invitational, the second event in the fall southern series.  They will sail in FJs on Salt Pond, which is a salt water estuary that connects to Point Judith and the Block Island Sound. It offers a variety of sailing conditions, which will be great experience for the Bulldogs.

All racing will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Report filed by Margot Benedict '12, Yale Sports Publicity