No. 1 Bulldogs Sail For Spot at Semifinals

Bulldogs Head to Boston

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—The No. 1 Yale coed sailing team will head north to Harvard to sail at the New England Dinghy Championships, the qualifier for the National Semifinal Championships in four weeks time. Another team will also head up to Beantown for the Oberg Trophy. A third team will host the Short Beach Invitational at the McNay Family Sailing Center.

The New England Dinghy Championships will be the first step towards the ICSA National Dinghy Championships June 6-8 on Lake Travis in Austin, Texas. The top 18 teams in New England qualify for the New England Dinghy Championships. The top eight finishers then go on to represent the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association (NEISA) at the National Semifinals. Semifinals are being hosted by the Naval Academy May 12-13. The two semifinal regattas will each consist of 18 of the top 36 teams in the country. The top nine finishers in the Semifinal Championships then move onto the National Championships in Texas.

This year, Harvard is hosting the New England Dinghy Championships on the Charles River in FJs, the boat that Nationals will be sailed in. While the Charles is famous for its shifty and unpredictable conditions, the Bulldogs have had plenty of experience sailing on the river, just this year. The Atlantic Coast Championships were held at Harvard in the fall and a bunch of the Bulldogs claimed the victory at the Boston Dinghy Cup earlier this spring.

Last year the Bulldogs struggled a bit at the New England Championships, hosted by the University of Rhode Island, finishing seventh. However, the Bulldogs regrouped and claimed the win at the Western Semifinals. This year the Bulldogs will look to have a less stressful qualification weekend and are shooting for the top spot. The current forecast is for some breezy conditions this weekend, but the Bulldogs' depth will allow them to sail incredibly strong combinations in all types of breeze.

Another team of Bulldogs will be slightly up the Charles River on the Boston side at the Oberg trophy.  The Boston University venue is debatably the trickiest part of the river to sail on with massive pressure changes and weird puffs that make consistent sailing very difficult. The Bulldogs have had plenty of practice at BU over the past few weekends. Their experience will make the transition to the venue and to the well-used BU FJs much easier.

The Bulldogs who are not sailing in Boston will either be sailing in or helping out with the Short Beach Invitational in Branford. The Bulldogs have very few home regattas, which means that they will be extra eager to capitalize on home waters advantage this weekend. Racing will be conducted in 420s. The current forecast calls for some big breeze with the possibility of some great waves out at the McNay Family Sailing Center, which will create exciting sailing conditions.

Sailors will report to the two regattas on the Charles River at 10:30 a.m. due to early morning crew races. The report time for the Short Beach Invitational is set for 9:30 a.m.

Report filed by Margot Benedict '12, Yale Sports Publicity