No. 2 Bulldogs Face Shifty Conditions Across New England

Thomas Barrows and Blair Belling.
Thomas Barrows and Blair Belling.

Oct. 5, 2008

Danmark Trophy Results
Smith Trophy Results
Southern Series Three Results

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The No. 2 Bulldog coed sailing team competed across New England in shifty conditions, but fortunately had enough wind for races to be completed at every event. The highlight of the Bulldog's performance was their eighth-place finish at the highly competitive Danmark Trophy. The team also sent squads to the Smith Trophy hosted by MIT and hosted the Southern Series Three event at the McNay Family Sailing Center.

The Bulldogs finished in eighth at the 20-team Danmark Trophy with 212 points, the same as seventh place No. 12 MIT. No. 1 Boston College won with an impressive 107 point total. The Danmark Trophy is known as one of the most competitive events of the fall collegiate season. It is raced at the Coast Guard Academy in one division of 420s and one division of FJs at the same time. This allows many races to take place on the Thames River venue, known for its shifty winds and strong current. 16 of the top 20 ranked teams in the nation were in attendance.

Junior captain Thomas Barrows and sophomore crew Blair Belling placed seventh in B Division with 99 points, finishing only one point out of sixth. The duo won the ninth race of the event and placed second in two races.

In B Division, freshman skipper Joseph Morris and senior Grace Becton sailed to a ninth-place finish with 113 points. The duo placed in the top half of the fleet in seven of the 12 races.

Despite not improving on the team's second-place finish in 2007, the team saw the event as a good opportunity to test itself against top competition early in the year.

"I think this was the most difficult regatta I have sailed in a long time, with the deepest fleet of the year and most of the teams we will face at nationals," Morris said. "It was very close racing, so even a small mistake was very costly. It was a good gauge of where I am and showed me what I need to work on. We're almost there, but just need to work on refining our skills. This shows me we have a lot of potential to do well this year."

The team also competed and placed 10th at the Smith Trophy hosted by MIT in Techs. 10 races were completed in both A and B Divisions in the extremely large 27 team event. For most of the event, the fleet experienced medium air of 12-15 knots that frequently was shifting directions, while Sunday brought two races in each division in light air. Freshman Cameron Cullman sailed with crews senior Adriane Levin on Saturday and freshman Genoa Warner on Sunday in A Division and placed eighth in the division. In B Division, freshman Rob Struckett and sophomore Alexa Chu placed 12th.

The Bulldogs also hosted the Southern Series Three event at the McNay Family Sailing Center. 11 teams competed at the combined division event, so 22 boats were competing in every race. The Bulldogs placed sixth as a team, behind a ninth-place finish by the Yale B boat and a 12th place finish by the Yale A boat. Competing for the Bulldogs in the B boat were Warner, junior John Vrolyk and freshmen Ana Pedrajo. Competing for Yale in the A boat were sophomore Andrew Kurzrok, senior Emmet Smith, and freshman Jared Shenson. On Saturday morning, the event featured light to medium shifty wind and flat water. In the afternoon, a strong sea breeze of 10-16 knots built with large waves. 11 races were sailed on Saturday. On Sunday, a very light breeze greeted the sailors, allowing only three races to be completed.

The Bulldogs are next in competition at the New England Men's Singlehanded Championship hosted at the McNay Family Sailing Center and at the Hap Moore Team Race at Coast Guard.

Report filed by Caleb Dorfman '09, Yale Sports Publicity