October 7, 2012

No. 2 Bulldogs Win New England Sloop Championship

NEWPORT, R.I. –During a weekend of keelboat sailing, the No. 2 Bulldogs won the New England Sloop Championship co-hosted by Brown and New York Yacht Club and qualified for the ICSA Sloop National Championship. Yale also placed fifth at the Storm Trysail Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta in Larchmont, N.Y. A team of dinghy sailors placed fifth at the Moody Trophy hosted by the University of Rhode Island.

In Newport, R.I., the Bulldogs faced a high stakes qualifying regatta and district championship. The team consisted of juniors Chris Segerblom and Max Nickbarg, sophomore Graham Landy and freshman Marly Isler. The Bulldogs knew going into the event that they had to finish in at least second place in order to qualify for the ICSA Sloop National Championship in Texas Nov. 16-18. Making the event even more exciting was the fact that it was sailed in Sonars, a boat unfamiliar to most college sailors, and that the regatta was in a match racing format, pitting each school directly against each other.

Saturday began with roughly ten knots, and built throughout the day with gusts up to 20 knots. Sailing unfamiliar Sonars, the Bulldogs initially struggled with boatspeed in the breezy conditions, but the team gained experience throughout the day and were able to bring their speed up to par. During a quarterfinals race against MIT the high winds caused the Bulldogs to break their boom. However, redress points are not awarded in match racing and the race was therefore marked as a loss for the Bulldogs. Despite the broken boom, the Bulldogs still managed to advance to the semifinals with a 2-1 record.

On Sunday, Yale was placed in an elimination round again top-seeded Brown. The first team to win three races would advance to the finals and ensure qualification for the Nationals. The Bulldogs lost their first race. Tactician Landy commented that "Going down 1-0 to Brown gave us a wake up call and we were able to regain focus and win the rest of our races." After victory against Brown, the Bulldogs faced Tufts in the finals and won 2-0. Landy attributes Yale's victory this weekend to "good communication during the pre-start…throughout the weekend our biggest strengths were downwind speed and tactics; Max did a great job flying the spinnaker in trying conditions throughout the weekend."

At the Storm Trysail Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta, sailing a J105 named Liquid Courage, the Bulldogs placed fifth in a fleet of ten. The team of seniors Senem Cilingiroglu and Zachary Foreman sophomore Sarah Smith and freshmen Eric Anderson and Emily Johnson were able to improve after the first day's results had placed them in seventh by finishing third in the final race.

Yale finished fifth at the Moody Trophy hosted by URI. Eight races were sailed on Saturday in a southerly that gusted up to 15 knots. However, lack of wind on Sunday prevented any further racing from occuring. In A division, senior Cameron Cullman and crews freshman Charlotte Belling and junior Eugenia Custo Greig placed seventh. In B division, junior Marlena Fauer with junior crews Custo Greig and Will Feldman placed fifth.

Next weekend, the Bulldogs will be back in dinghies, sailing the Navy Fall Regatta at the US Naval Academy, the Captain Hurst Bowl at Dartmouth and the Great Herring Pond Open at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. 

Report Filed Katherine Gaumond '15, Yale Sports Publicity