April 3, 2011

No. 2 Bulldogs Finish Strong on Sunday

The Yale Women Stuck With It After a Tough Saturday to Finish Second

CRANSTON, R.I. – The No. 2 Yale Women's Sailing Team showed mental and physical toughness this past weekend, at the Dellenbaugh Women's Trophy, as it fought to continue its unbroken streak of top-three finishes.  The Yale Women ended up taking second overall after sitting fifth at the end of day one. 

The wind, on Saturday, blew from around the west northwest at approximately six to 15 knots.  This direction at the Brown University venue, in CRANSTON, R.I., means flat and shifty conditions since the wind comes from off the shore where the Brown sailing team's facility, the Edgewood Yacht Club, use to stand.  Unfortunately, the yacht club burned down in a fire on January 12th, after standing strong for 106 years. 

Sophomore skipper Claire Dennis describes Saturday's conditions as "difficult to come back to fleet racing in", since she and sophomore crew Heather May have been mostly team racing with the coed team for the past several weeks.  This team was a bit frustrated after Saturday as they finished the day in 11th in A division.  However, the best athletes are those who are able to get back up quickly after being down, and that is exactly what Dennis and May did on Sunday. 

In a wind direction similar to Saturday, but 10 or more knots stronger, the sophomore duo rallied on Sunday to jump up seven places and finish fourth in A division.  Dennis states that "on Sunday [they] focused on starting and getting back to solid tactics which showed in the results."  This performance, combined with strong sailing in B division by sophomore skipper Emily Billing and junior crew Margot Benedict, helped the team to its second place overall result.  No. 3 Brown University took the win on their home waters while No. 1 Boston College finished just behind the Bulldogs, in third. 

Billing and Benedict continued to race well this weekend as they tied for third in B division. 

With just two weeks left until the Women's New England Championships, the regatta that serves as the first step to qualifying for the ICSA Nationals, it is encouraging to see the Yale team sailing with an it's-not-over-until-it's-over mentality.  The Bulldogs will be back on the water for practice on Tuesday through Friday and they head up to Boston next weekend, where they will be racing in the President's Trophy Intersectional, on the Charles River.

Report filed by Chris Segerblom '14, Yale Sports Publicity