Bulldogs Tame the Thames
NEW LONDON, Conn.—The No. 1 Yale coed sailing team took this weekend seriously despite the fact that no qualifying spots were up for grabs, capturing the Thompson Trophy at the Coast Guard Academy. The Bulldogs also finished 11th at the Admiral's Cup at Kings Point.
Saturday dawned extremely foggy in New London, Conn. on the Thames River, the Coast Guard Academy's sailing venue. Thankfully the fog cleared during the competitors meeting and A division headed out in the fleet of FJs while B division headed out in the fleet of 420s. After a brief wait for the breeze to fill in more consistently, six races were sailed in four to eight knots. Six more races in breeze of eight to 12 knots followed a lunch break before the divisions switched fleets with B division moving to FJs and A division moving to 420s for two more races to close out the day.
The final six races were sailed in a light northerly that increased to about eight to 12 knots. The rotation was completed just in time as a downpour rolled through, shutting off the breeze for the rest of the day.
Seniors skipper Joseph Morris and crew Isabel Elliman finished fourth in A division, six points out of third. Despite battling some inconsistency, they finished in the top five in seven races, including a win in the ninth race. The duo was able to establish a rhythm through parts of the regatta, fighting the shifty breeze in an effort to remain at the top.
Freshman skipper Graham Landy and junior crew Heather May won B division by almost 20 points. Although Landy and May have not sailed together on the Thames, both have spent significant time on the river over this past year. They finished in the top five in 12 of 18 races, including two wins.
The Bulldogs maintained their lead from day one, putting a gap on the rest of the field of almost 20 points. Hobart William Smith was second with MIT, Roger Williams and Navy rounding out the top five.
At the three division Admiral's Cup at the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., the Bulldogs were greeted Saturday with shifty breeze from the South of four to 12 knots. The breeze built to 15 to 22 knots with flat water throughout the afternoon. Efficient racing on trapezoids allowed for the completion of 14 races in A and B divisions and 13 races in C division.
Sunday's weather was less than pleasant with showers and temperatures in the 40s. The breeze came out of the north-northeast at eight to 15 knots, causing some bigger waves, which made for exciting runs on the trapezoid course. The 19-race rotation was completed by 12:45 p.m.
Junior captain skipper Cameron Cullman and senior crew Genoa Warner finished 11th in A division, only six points out of ninth. The pair battled inconsistency over the pressure changes, collecting 12 top-ten finishes.
Senior skipper Rob Struckett and freshman crew Sarah Smith finished ninth in B division, winning a tiebreaker over SUNY Maritime. They finished with 12 top-tens and also struggled a bit with consistency.
Sophomore Max Nickbarg finished eighth in the singlehanded Laser C division, only five points out of seventh. He also finished with 12 top-ten finishes, including one win. It was Nickbarg's first regatta in Lasers this spring.
The team finished a combined 11th, only seven points out of 9th. The College of Charleston won the regatta with Stanford and Georgetown rounding out the top three.
Next weekend the Bulldogs will return to post-season qualification at the New England Team Race Championships hosted by MIT on the Charles River. The Bulldogs will also sail down the river at the George Morris Trophy at Boston University.
Report filed by Margot Benedict '12, Yale Sports Publicity