November 1, 2010

No. 1 Bulldogs Qualify for Atlantic Coast Championships

Bulldogs Extend Season With Finish

NEW LONDON, Conn.—The No. 1 Bulldogs did exactly what they needed to continue their season for two more weekends, finishing fifth at the Victorian Urn hosted by Connecticut College on the Thames River. The top seven finishers from the regatta will go on to compete at the Atlantic Coast Championships Nov. 13 and 14.

Both days offered typical Thames conditions which can often times be simply flummoxing. At river venues, luck often plays more of a role than at other sailing sights. The breeze was coming from the WNW both days with winds of 8-14 knots on Saturday and a bit more breeze on Sunday.

Returning to their regular position in A division, sophomores Claire Dennis and Heather May finished an impressive fourth. They began the regatta with the win and finished in the top ten in eight of the twelve races. With the crazy Thames conditions, Dennis and May were able to remain more consistent than many other teams despite some up and down finishes. Junior Isabel Elliman subbed in for the last two races as May was sent to Coast Guard to heavy crew at the Coed regatta.

Freshmen Marlena Fauer and Eugenia Custo Grieg finished seventh in B division, a mere five points out of fourth. They managed to stick out the Thames and finish in the top ten in nine of the 12 races, with a far more consistent score line than many of the other teams.

Six other teams from the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association qualified for the Atlantic Coast Championships, which will be hosted by the University of South Florida and Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla. in two weekends. No. 3 Boston College took the win at the regatta after a few up and down weekends. For the second week in a row, No. 5 Connecticut College capitalized on being able to race on their home waters and finished second. No. 10 Harvard surged back to take third while No. 11 Coast Guard finished behind them in fourth. Tufts and No. 15 Dartmouth made the qualification cut after removing No. 13 Stanford who finished seventh but sail on the pacific coast.  

Notably absent from the qualifying teams is co-No. 1 Brown who finished ninth and missed the cut by over 20 points. Despite having an incredibly impressive fall, Brown showed that each regatta is a competition on its own and the conditions, particularly on the Thames, do not take into account previous finishes. This becomes even more difficult when teams have to qualify from New England, which is unquestionably the deepest region in College Sailing with nine teams ranked in the top-15 in the country. Other ranked teams that missed the cut were No. 9 Rhode Island and No. 14 Vermont.

Next weekend the Bulldogs will go solo with Dennis and fellow sophomore Emily Billing competing at the National Singlehanded Championships hosted at the St Petersburg Yacht Club in St Petersburg, Fla. Nov. 5-7. The rest of the Bulldogs will have a weekend off from college competition before the Atlantic Coast Championships which will mark the end of the fall season.

Report filed by Margot Benedict '12, Yale Sports Publicit