October 28, 2011

No. 1 Bulldogs Sail For Spot at Atlantic Coast Championships

Bulldogs Look to Qualify for Final Regatta of Fall Season

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—The No. 1 Yale coed sailing team will begin its fall postseason push this weekend at the Schell Trophy hosted by MIT in Cambridge, Mass. The Bulldogs will also host the Dave Perry Trophy at the McNay Family Sailing Center in Branford and travel to the Nickerson Trophy, the Freshman New England Championships, hosted by Connecticut College in New London, Conn.

After a weekend of frustratingly little breeze, the Bulldogs are hoping for a bit more help from Mother Nature. Currently, the forecast is for plenty of wind round New England, except for in Boston, which means that the teams staying in Connecticut should have some great sailing but the team traveling to MIT may have less luck in the breeze department. 

The Erwin Schell Trophy will be sailed in both FJs and tech dinghies, the pride and joy of MIT. While FJs are a popular boat in college sailing and are the class that the National Championships will be sailed in in May, tech dinghies are single sailed boats that resemble bathtubs and are exclusively raced at MIT. While a few teams have a tech or two lying around their boathouse, most college teams only experience them at MIT. While some sailors love their experiences in techs, others have less rave reviews. 

Last year was the first year that the Schell was held somewhere besides the Charles River. Instead, it was hosted by the Coast Guard Academy on one of college sailing's other infamous rivers, the Thames. The Bulldogs finished seventh.

The Schell essentially serves as the Fall New England Coed Championships as it is the qualifier for the Atlantic Coast Championships, the final weekend of the fall season and the biggest regatta before the winter break. The top eight finishers at the Schell will go on to represent the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association at the Atlantic Coast Championships, which are also being hosted by MIT Nov. 12-13.

This is the second year that the Bulldogs will host the Dave Perry Trophy at the McNay Family Sailing Center in Branford.  Perry '77 was a member of the 1975 National Championship team as well as an All American in 1975 and 1977 and has remained involved with the sport since his graduation. The regatta will be sailed in combined divisions, which will give the sailors more races for the weekend.

The Bulldogs will also travel to Connecticut College for the Nickerson Trophy. The Nickerson is the Freshman New England Championships and serves as a qualifier for the Freshman Atlantic Coast Championships. With a very strong and deep freshman class, the Bulldogs are primed for a great result.

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

Report filed by Margot Benedict '12, Yale Sports Publicity