Feb. 22, 2009
CHARLESTON, S.C. - The No. 12 Bulldog coed sailing team opened the Spring fleet racing season with a strong third-place finish at the competitive Charleston Spring Intersectional hosted by No. 10 College of Charleston. The regatta, which comes on the heels of a win at the Mendelblatt Team Race last weekend, shows that the Bulldogs are ready to compete at the top level in fleet racing events despite not having practiced yet this season.
The Bulldogs finished the regatta with 133 points over the 12 races in each division. Eckerd College won the regatta with 94 points. The hosts took second at the 18-team competition with 114 points. All the racing took place in Charleston Harbor in 420s in a variety of wind and weather conditions. On Saturday, the racing started off with light wind that caused a delay in the racing before a five-to-eight knot wind filled in. The teams had to compete against other teams while also considering the strategic implications that the strong current had on the racing. On Sunday, the wind was stronger and built throughout the day to a high of 20 knots. The variety of wind conditions and directions allowed the sailors to work on many aspects of their sailing, something that will be useful as the season progresses. The windy races will be particularly helpful for the team as the ICSA National Championships will be held in San Francisco Bay, a historically windy venue. The Bulldogs placed eighth at the event in 2008 and second in 2007.
In A Division, freshman skipper Joseph Morris and junior crew Michael Hession placed third with 76 points, 16 points out of second. This is an improvement over last year's 13th-place finish in A Division. The duo finished in the top six in seven of the 12 races and won the eighth race of the regatta. They only finished outside the top ten in two races.
In B Division, senior skipper Jane Macky with crews Hession (races 11-12) and Marla Menninger (races 1-10) finished second in B Division with 57 points, only placing behind the team from Eckerd, who finished with 34 points. Macky and Menninger also placed second in B Division last year. They were very consistent, finishing nine of the 12 races in the top six. Even more impressive, their worst finishes were three seventh-place results, still putting them in the top half of the fleet in their worst races. Macky and Menninger won the third race of the regatta.
Morris believes that the regatta was a useful learning experience.
"I think that that regatta went pretty well," Morris said. "We were inconsistent in the breeze on Sunday because of our starting, but it was good to get practice in in the windy conditions because it will help us to get the experience in starting."
The Bulldog squad, which has yet to begin practice, will next be in action on Mar. 6-7 at the John Jackson Team Race and Sharpe Trophy Team Race.
Report filed by Caleb Dorfman '09, Yale Sports Publicity