ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Four members of the No. 1 Yale women's sailing team spent this past weekend in St. Petersburg, Fla., competing at the first official regatta of the spring collegiate sailing season, where they finished fourth overall. 10 teams were represented at the regatta, allowing for the event to be sailed in a combined division format. Racing A and B division together made for more boats on the starting line and allowed the race organizers from the University of South Florida to run many more races than they would have otherwise been able to. 16 races were completed over the course of the two days.
For Yale, this weekend not only marked the beginning of competition, but the beginning of sailing this season in general. Typically the team does not begin practicing until spring break, but this year it was able to take advantage of the opportunity to shake off some early cobwebs at this event down south. Head coach Zack Leonard hopes that the team will be able to get at least two days on the water at Yale in the coming week, which has temperatures forecasted to be in the 50s. Not exactly the 70 degree Florida weather that racers had this weekend, but practically tropical for New England in February.
The Bulldogs were represented by four underclassmen at the women's interconference regatta this weekend. Freshman skipper Morgan Kiss and sophomore crew Amanda Salvesen sailed quite well for their first weekend back, finishing second overall in the 20 boat fleet and thereby second in A division. It took them the first couple of races to get their sea legs back, but winning the third race put them on track to start consistently finishing in the top five. Yale's B division boat, sailed by freshman skipper Urska Kosir and sophomore crew Anna Han, also won a race and finished second in another. Kosir and Han finished fifth in their division.
The three teams to finish ahead of the Bulldogs were the Charleston Cougars, the Navy Midshipmen and the Stanford Cardinal, in order from third to first. The Hawaii Rainbows finished just behind them in fifth. Considering that all four of those teams have been practicing during the past month, the Yale women can feel good about their ability to just hop back in and be contenders.
This week the team hopes to get in some on-the-water practice time, but the next women's regatta is not for two weeks. On the weekend of March third and fourth the Bulldogs will head to Charleston, S.C., to compete in the Charleston Women's Interconference regatta and then fly from there back to St. Petersburg, Fla., where they will spend the first week of their spring break training.
Report filed by Chris Segerblom '14, Yale Sports Publicity