February 12, 2009

No. 12 Bulldogs Open Season at Mendelblatt Team Race

Feb. 12, 2009

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Bulldog coed sailing team will open the spring season with competition at the Mendelblatt Team Race hosted by No. 15 South Florida on Saturday and Sunday. The Bulldogs, who have not competed since their victory at the Atlantic Coast Tournament in November, hope to get the season started off strongly by continuing their streak of winning the first team race regatta of the year.

This is the earliest that the Bulldogs have started off the season in team racing. The team has not sailed at the Mendelblatt Team Race Intersectional in the past. The past two years, the Bulldogs have opened the team race season at the John Jackson Team Race hosted by Georgetown and Navy, an event the team has won the past two years.

Last year, South Florida won the event followed by Navy in second and Eckerd College in third. This year, the competition should be even better. The event, which will be jointly hosted by South Florida and Eckerd, will include 14 teams. Both South Florida and Eckerd will enter two teams. Other teams in the regatta will include No. 16 Boston University, No. 10 College of Charleston, Florida, Fordham, No. 18 Hobart and William Smith, No. 6 Navy, Salve Regina, No. 14 Stanford and No. 20 University of California-Santa Barbara.

This will be a good experience for the young Bulldog squad to get some team race practice in. The only returning skipper from the team race squad last year is junior Thomas Barrows while freshmen Joseph Morris and Cameron Cullman will be competing in their first collegiate team race events. Both Morris and Cullman have had very successful fleet race seasons in the fall, with Morris winning his division at one intersectional this past fall.

Team racing brings in many different skills than fleet racing. In fleet racing, there is only one boat from each school competing at a time, with the goal to simply get around the course faster than the other boats. Scoring is based on points that are totaled up following the end of racing for the day. In team racing, however, one school is in direct competition against the other school in pursuit of a win. In team racing, three boats from each school compete against three boats from the another school. The teammates can use tactics to slow the opponents' boats in an effort to get their teammates ahead of their opponents. At the end of the race, one team comes away with a win and one with a loss depending on the finishing order of the boats. As in fleet racing, the first boat across the line is worth one point, with second two and so on. The team with 10 points or less among the three boats wins the race.

Competition will take place in FJs beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday.

Report filed by Caleb Dorfman '09, Yale Sports Publicity

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