Nov. 16, 2008
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The No. 10 Bulldog coed sailing team closed out the fall season with a victory at the 16-team Atlantic Coast Tournament hosted at Harvard on the Charles River. The Bulldogs won the regatta with 38 points over the four races in A and B divisions. The Atlantic Coast Tournament, which included the top schools from the East Coast conferences of the Intercollegiate Sailing Association that did not qualify for the Atlantic Coast Championships, is the last competition for the Bulldogs in 2008.
The Atlantic Coast Tournament was originally scheduled to take place on both Saturday and Sunday, but only one race was completed on Sunday before the regatta was cancelled due to adverse conditions. While the Bulldogs, who are extremely skilled at sailing in tough, windy conditions, finished second in Sunday's one race, the race committee decided that high wind conditions would lead to too much difficulty for some of the less experienced teams at the event. This meant that the one race on Sunday and the last race of the day in A Division did not count in the final standings because an equal number of B Division races were not completed. The Bulldogs took first and second in the two races that did not count in the results.
On Saturday, the wind was extremely variable. The sailors were welcomed to glassy waters and were postponed on shore until a light, shifty breeze filled in. This allowed one race to be completed in fluky conditions in which it was necessary to be constantly looking around for shifts and puffs of breeze. The wind then died out before building to a moderate breeze of eight to 14 knots with many shifts.
In A Division, freshman Joseph Morris and junior Michael Hession placed third with 38 points. The duo won two of the four races completed and had only one finish outside of the top five. In the one race that Morris and Hession did not perform well in, they were over the starting line early in a one-minute rule sequence and had to restart, which put them behind all of the competition to start with.
In B Division, freshmen Cameron Cullman and Genoa Warner finished fourth with 19 points, only two points out of second place. Cullman and Warner won one race and placed in the top five in three of the four races.
For the Bulldog freshmen, the regatta was a good opportunity to compete at the championship level against some strong competition. Cullman felt that the weekend was a positive experience.
"I got my first bullet in a college regatta with strong competition, which felt great because I am usually just consistent, but do not win races," Cullman said. "This weekend was a big breakthrough for me. I wish that I had more races to balance out my one bad race because I learned a lot from that one race about starting position. This season was a transition one for me because I needed to learn a lot about FJ and 420 boathandling and speed and now I feel I have the basics down. I feel I can compete with most everyone in the nation in the Laser and hope to get exponentially better in the FJs and 420s. I am really excited for the Spring season."
Morris was also excited about his performance.
"I feel that our overall decision making on the course was good and that it got us out of some tough situations," Morris said. "I just wish that we had more races to make up for our one bad race in which we were over early."
The Bulldogs now have a few months to recover from the past season before starting competition in the Spring season, which usually begins in February.
Report filed by Caleb Dorfman '09, Yale Sports Publicity