November 9, 2011

No. 1 Bulldogs Head to Atlantic Coast Championships

Bulldogs Sail For Final Fall Glory

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—The No. 1 Yale coed sailing team will finish up the successful Fall 2011 season at the Atlantic Coast Championships this weekend, hosted by Harvard on the Charles River. The Bulldogs hope to close out the season on top and give themselves a boost headed into the offseason.

Last year the Bulldogs finished a disappointing eighth at the Atlantic Coast Championships. The sailing conditions were far from ideal as Annapolis, Md., offered little breeze, which only allowed for the completion of eight races.

This year the Atlantic Coast Championships will be held on the Charles River. While MIT was originally supposed to host the event, construction began on its dock two weeks ago so Harvard, which sails just a bit further down the river, will play host with the help of MIT personnel. Sailing will be conducted in both Harvard's FJs and MIT's FJs, which will allow for both divisions to be on the water at once. This will hopefully allow for more racing than last year, but as always the sailors are at the mercy of the wind.

The Charles River can provide some of the most interesting and frustrating sailing of any college venue. While the Charles is often different every time one sails on it, the Bulldogs have garnered some great experience on the river this fall. Some of the Bulldogs that will represent the team this weekend sailed at the Hatch Brown trophy in September hosted by MIT. The New England qualifier for the Atlantic Coast Championships was also hosted by MIT two weeks ago. The Bulldogs finished a close third at that event, after storming back on the second day of competition.

The Atlantic Coast Championships serve as both the fall season championships and a mini-nationals of sorts. Because the east coast teams are so strong, the ACCs include almost all of the best teams in college sailing, which allow for a great foreshadowing to the national championships in May.  The only top teams that will not be at the competition this weekend are No. 8 Stanford and No. 11 Wisconsin as well as the teams that failed to qualify at the regional championships such as No. 5 Boston College and No. 13 Connecticut College.

The Bulldogs will look to improve on their third-place finish two weekends ago and head into the winter offseason on a high note. Sailing will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Report filed by Margot Benedict '12, Yale Sports Publicity

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