Five Days of Spring Break Training Will Have Them Ready for the Second Regatta of the Season
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After a strong second-place finish at the Charleston Women's Intersectional last week, the No. 4 Yale Women's Sailing Team has spent no less than six hours on the water for each of the past three days. The Florida weather has provided the Bulldogs with stellar conditions all week and the team intends to maintain its productive schedule for the next two days. On Friday evening it will be back to the airport for the Yale women to catch a plane to Annapolis, Md., for the Navy Women's Spring Intersectional hosted by the Naval Academy.
The Naval Academy has a fleet of both FJs and 420s so both A and B division will be on the water at the same time. This allows for the race committee to accomplish significantly more total races over the course of a weekend. Sailing A division for the Bulldogs will be the freshman duo of skipper Marlena Fauer and crew Eugenia Custo Greig. Racing in B division will be sophomore skipper Emily Billing and junior crew Margot Benedict.
Over the course of this week's spring training the Yale Women have been practicing alongside the coed team and the team from the University of South Florida. Zachary Leonard ('89), the McNay Family Director of Sailing, and assistant coach Bill Healy have been putting the sailors through their paces in a multitude of drills and practice races. Lots of focus has been put into getting the Bulldogs' boat-handling abilities back to what they were in the fall, as well as working on starting and race course awareness. The team has also been taking advantage of the variety of weather conditions in order to practice racing in lighter versus heavier wind, shiftier versus steadier wind, and flatter versus choppier seas.
All of this practice will no doubt come in handy in the upcoming weekend as the Naval Academy is known to be capable of providing a range of conditions. However, transitioning back to temperatures in the 40s, after enjoying temperatures in the 70s and 80s, may be a little displeasing for the Bulldogs.
Another positive aspect of the team's spring break training is that it gets to practice in heavier boats similar to those used by the Naval Academy. Numerous universities own boats with rails that are extra-fortified for institutional purposes. USF and Navy both have them and they take just a little bit of getting used to when transitioning from lighter-weight, regular boats like the team practices with at home.
Overall spring training is turning out to be extremely productive and all bodes well for the team's performance in the upcoming weekend. The spring season is officially in progress and the Bulldogs hope to build off the strong start they had last weekend.
Report filed by Chris Segerblom '14, Yale Sports Publicity