April 24, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The No. 5 coed sailing team will have one more tune-up in fleet racing this weekend before the Bulldogs again go on the road to try to qualify for their third-straight ICSA Coed Dinghy National Championship. The team will split up across the East Coast to compete in four regattas, including two major intersectionals featuring the competition they will face at the Semifinals.
The largest regatta the team will compete in is the Admiral's Cup hosted by the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy-King's Point. The event will feature sailing in three divisions of boats concurrently, with teams coming from four of the seven conferences in the country. The regatta will feature two divisions of doublehanded sailing, in FJs and 420s, while C division will sail in the singlehanded Laser class. The three divisions puts a premium on the team's depth, so the Bulldogs will hope that their team, which has competed well in situations with multiple regattas this year, will be well-prepared to take on the challenge of competing in multiple divisions.
Last year, the Bulldogs took fifth at the event. The team took seventh and third in A and B divisions, respectively, which were sailed in doublehanded dinghies, and sixth in C division, which was sailed in the singlehanded Laser. The team won the regatta in 2007, but an entirely different lineup will compete at the regatta this year. The King's Point venue can feature a variety of conditions, from light air and chop to big breeze and waves. Current is always a factor at the site, where the sailors compete in view of the New York City skyline.
The team will also compete at the Thompson Trophy hosted by the Coast Guard Academy. The regatta, which will be sailed on the tricky Thames River, will take place in two divisions of doublehanded boats. Last year, the team struggled to a 15th-place finish in tough conditions, but the team has been better at the event in the past, taking third in 2007. Competition should be tough at the regatta, with nine of the top 10 ranked teams in action. However, the Admiral's Cup will also have many of the same ranked teams in action, so some teams will be splitting up their squads between the two regattas. The Thames River venue is known for its shifty wind and strong but confusing current.
The last intersectional the Bulldogs will compete at is the George Morris Trophy hosted by No. 13 Boston University. The regatta will take place in FJs on the Charles River. While the team did not compete at the regatta last year, the Bulldogs took second in 2007, only losing out to the hosts who won the regatta, which will feature mostly in-district competition this year.
Finally, the team will compete at the Priddy Trophy for the Spring Freshman New England Championship. The event is unique because unlike most regattas, it is sailed in only one division with a prohibition on crew substitutions. The team did not compete at the event last year, but took 10th in 2007. The regatta will by hosted by Massachusetts Maritime, which also hosted the Fall Freshman New England Championships that the Bulldogs took sixth in. The Herring Pond venue usually features tricky, shifty wind and sailing in 420s.
These regattas should be valuable tune-ups for the team, which is coming off of a fifth-place finish at the New England Dinghy Championships. The performance qualified the team for the ICSA Semifinals, which will take place May 2-3. The team needs to place in the top nine next weekend to make it to the National Championships.
Report filed by Caleb Dorfman '09, Yale Sports Publicity