NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After nearly three and a half months, the Yale women's sailing team is back in competition mode. The team starts off its fall season this weekend at the third annual Toni Deutsch Trophy regatta, to be hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.
The Toni Deutsch regatta was named in honor of the first woman to receive a varsity letter in athletics at MIT. During the four years that Deutsch sailed at MIT their team took home two national championship victories.
Currently ranked No. 1 in the preseason polls, the Bulldogs know that rankings mean nothing until there are results to back them up. They have spent the past two weeks working hard to get back to the level of comfort that they were feeling back in May at the National Championships. Also, it so happens that several of the Yale sailors that competed at the past Nationals will be accounted for up at the Deutsch Trophy. Junior skipper Claire Dennis will be racing in A division for the Bulldogs along with sophomore crew Anna Han. In B division for the Bulldogs will be the now sophomore duo of skipper Marlena Fauer and crew Eugenia Custo Greig.
When asked about the team's goals for the first weekend of the season, Dennis said that she and her teammates are looking "to recognize what [they] should focus on in the coming week to improve further". "It's early on" she says, "but we are focused on reaching our potential as quickly as possible".
Weather forecasts for the weekend call for winds of approximately nine miles per hour from the north on Saturday and slightly less than that from the east on Sunday. The Charles River northerly on Saturday should be a nice and challenging condition for racers to break in the new season. From that direction the wind blows perpendicularly across the river and puffs and shifts can be challenging to read as they drop in off the shore. Compared to many other venues, the easterly is by no means straightforward, but the increased fetch when it blows down the river usually has an impact on how the wind behaves on the course.
Follow the Bulldogs at http://www.collegesailing.org/ as they take on the competition for the first time this season.
Report filed by Chris Segerblom '14, Yale Sports Publicity