May 30, 2009
SAN FRANCISCO - The No. 3 Bulldogs continued competition at the ICSA/APS Team Racing National Championships on Saturday, turning in their best performances yet. The team, which qualified for the Gold Championship Eight Round of competition by virtue of the team's performance on Friday, will continue to race for a chance to win the team's first national championship in team racing on Sunday.
The Bulldogs turned in their best, most consistent performances of the regatta on Saturday. Saturday's competition started off with light wind and flat water, allowing the Bulldogs to start off with their normal crew combinations. In the first races of the day, the crews were mainly sitting in the boat with occasional hiking in the puffs. As the day went on, the breeze built, with puffs up to 17 knots, leading the Bulldogs to switch to heavy air combinations that frequently fully hiked during the entirety of the upwind legs in the races. There were frequent puffs that came down the course, allowing for both large pressure and angle differences across the course, putting a premium on deciding how tightly to cover and spit pairs apart in response to visible changes on the water. Sailing for the Bulldogs were junior skippers captain Thomas Barrows, John Kempton and freshman Joseph Morris while seniors Grace Becton and Adriane Levin, juniors Michael Hession and Marla Menninger and sophomore Blair Belling crewed for the team.
The Bulldogs started the day off racing the teams that made it into the Gold Championship Round of Eight from Group Two, teams which the Bulldogs had not yet faced in the regatta. The Bulldogs sailed well against these teams, going 3-1 in this round of competition. However, the team had to carry over three losses into the round from the losses that the Bulldogs recorded against the teams in its group, Group One, yesterday. This meant that despite the Bulldogs' strong efforts, the team ended the first Gold Championship Right Round with a 3-4 record. The team picked up wins over No. 1 Boston College, No. 13 SUNY Maritime and No. 14 Stanford.
After the first round, the Bulldogs had another round of competition, the second round of the Gold Championship Round of Eight. In this round, however, the Bulldogs had the opportunity to again face the teams that they competed against in Group One competition on Friday. This gave the Bulldogs an opportunity to improve their record, something that they did successfully. While the second round of the Gold Championship Round of Eight has not yet been completed, it was clear that the team had improved since the first day of competition. The team picked up wins over No. 4 St. Mary's College of Maryland, No. 9 Harvard and No. 14 Stanford while only dropping a very close race to No. 5 Charleston.
Throughout the entire day of competition, the Bulldogs sailed well. The team beat No. 1 Georgetown in the second round of competition after the team was able to do a mark trap and convert their combinations. The victory, however, will not count because the Georgetown team filed for redress due to excess water in the boat, so the race will need to be re-sailed on Sunday morning. As well, the Bulldogs will finish the rotation, sailing races against Boston College and SUNY Maritime, both teams that the team has faced and defeated earlier in the event.
The Bulldogs have been strong in all aspects of racing on the water. While the team initially struggled with starting and making the moves to get winning combinations, the team soon improved in the later races, getting good starts and being aggressive enough to convert races into winning combinations.
Racing will resume at 9:00 a.m. The team will need to have one of the four best records from the first and second rounds of the Gold Championship Round of Eight to make it to the Final Four, an achievable goal.
Live coverage of the event through streaming and recorded videos and interviews is available here. As well, it is possible to follow the coverage live on the event blog, which is available here. Complete results are available here.
Report filed by Caleb Dorfman '09, Yale Sports Publicity