May 25, 2010

No. 7 Bulldogs Face Weather Challenges

Lack of Wind Plagues National Semifinals

MADISON, Wisc. —The biggest morning of the season thus far donned with a crash and a bang which was followed by a long day of getting dressed and discovering there was nowhere to go except swimming in the lake on the sweltering humid day or inside to play catch phrase and other time absorbing games. While the lack of wind did spark a great deal of creativity, it was not at all conducive to sailing and left the Bulldogs without any results to carry them into tomorrow.

Following a torrential rain storm and a skippers meeting, the breeze shut off. A division headed out once the storm had dissipated but was greeted with an absence of wind. They floated around for a long time before being called back in.

After another block of time on land lapsed a minuscule puff of breeze filled sending senior Sarah Lihan and junior Elizabeth Brim back out on the water. The sound of race warning horns produced cheers from those on shore, as it appeared that the 2010 ICSA Women's National Semifinals were finally getting underway.

The race began in a bit of breeze that died on the second beat. Lihan and Brim were flagged for rule 42 (too much boat manipulation), forcing them to complete a 720, putting them towards the back of the pack. They climbed their way back to seventh when the race was abandoned on the third leg due to an extreme lack of wind.

For the second time, the Bulldogs returned to shore without a race. Feeling creative, the Bulldogs invented some games, which can be seen on sailgroove.org. Another thunderstorm rolled through, bringing wind. However, with continuing lightning the Bulldogs began to feel like a stuttering CD, as they prepared to go out on the water, getting dressed and pulling up the jib multiple times before the lightning returned, forcing everyone back on land. Finally, the regatta was called for the day at 6:15 p.m.

Three races must be completed in both divisions tomorrow to make the semifinals count. Otherwise, the nationals will just be sailed among the teams who qualified based on the old standards. This means that only five teams from NEISA will sail, putting the Bulldogs, who finished sixth at the New England Championships based on a tiebreaker, on the outside of qualifying.

While the forecast is not particularly optimistic for tomorrow, the regatta schedule allows for sailing from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., which will hopefully allow for a chance to complete the races.

Follow the action at http://bulldogswomensnationals.blogspot.com.

Report filed by Margot Benedict '12, Yale Sports Publicity

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