No. 6 Bulldogs Second at John Jackson Team Race

Joe Morris and Grace Becton.
Joe Morris and Grace Becton.

March 8, 2009

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The No. 6 Bulldog coed sailing team got back into team race competition with a second-place finish at the highly competitive John Jackson Team Race hosted by No. 4 Georgetown. The Bulldogs, who have won the regatta the past two years, sailed strongly and improved their communication and strategy over the last time they team raced, a win at the Mendelblatt Team Race hosted by South Florida on Feb. 14-15.

The John Jackson Team Race, which took place at Georgetown's venue in Washington, D.C., featured the toughest competition the Bulldogs have faced in the young Spring season. Of the 16 teams competing at the event, 14 were ranked in the top 20 nationally. The event, which was combined with the Graham Hall Team Race hosted by Navy, featured an initial round-robin on Saturday. The top four of the eight teams from Saturday's competition at each venue advanced to the championship round that took place on Sunday at Georgetown to crown the champion of the John Jackson Team Race.

The Bulldogs got off to an early start in the qualifying round, tying for first with No. 1 St. Mary's College of Maryland and Georgetown with a 6-1 record. With the record, the Bulldogs advanced to the finals, where they faced the teams that were in the bracket from Navy before squaring off in the championship final four. The Bulldogs competed well, but lost a tight contest to the hosts, who captured first place with the victory over the Bulldogs. Skippering for the Bulldogs were junior captain Thomas Barrows and freshmen Joseph Morris and Cameron Cullman. The Bulldog crews included seniors Grace Becton and Adriane Levin, junior Michael Hession and sophomore Blair Belling.

Morris feels that the team made a lot of improvement since their last outing, even though the team has not been able to practice on the water.

"I feel that the regatta went well," Morris said. "As a team, we are really excited by our performance. Personally, I had good starts and firs beats. We also are much improved as a team. We worked well together balancing and staying in the right combinations. Our first race of the championship finals was against Georgetown, which we narrowly lost, so we knew that we couldn't be able to win the regatta, but we were still excited to sail the rest of the races. We were the youngest team at the regatta with a junior and two freshmen skippering and we are very excited for the Admiral Moore Team Race next weekend."

The Bulldogs also competed at the Sharpe Trophy Team Race hosted by Harvard in FJs on the Charles River. After struggling in Saturday's competition, the Bulldogs came back and improved on Sunday, finishing in seventh with a 7-16 record. Skippering for the Bulldogs were senior Jane Macky, junior John Kempton, who is returning to the squad following injuries that kept him from competing during the Fall season, and sophomore Andrew Kurzrok. Crewing for the team were junior captain Marla Menninger and freshmen Margot Benedict and Genoa Warner.

The Bulldogs are next in competition on Saturday and Sunday at the Admiral Moore Team Race hosted by SUNY Maritime and the Wood Trophy hosted by Salve Regina.

Report filed by Caleb Dorfman '09, Yale Sports Publicity