Bulldog sailors disperse and win the Southern Series Six

The Bulldog sailors had a busy weekend — and a hard one at that.

The Yale men’s and women’s sailing teams split their rosters between four regattas this past weekend, sending squads to the Admiral’s Cup hosted by King’s Point, the Thompson Trophy hosted by Connecticut College, the Southern Series Six hosted by Rhode Island and the New England Women’s Championship for the Reed Trophy hosted by Yale.

Sailors battled various conditions all over the Northeast last weekend, competing at four different sites. The Bulldogs experienced a mixed bag of results.
Han Xu
Sailors battled various conditions all over the Northeast last weekend, competing at four different sites. The Bulldogs experienced a mixed bag of results.

The Admiral’s Cup, a three-division event including some of Yale’s toughest national competition, proved difficult for the Bulldogs.

Captain Thomas Barrows ’10 and Abigail Coplin ’08 fared best, earning third in the B division with a total of 135 points. In the A division, Zachary Brown ’08 and Grace Becton ’09 placed seventh with 177 points, and Sarah Lihan ’10 held her own sailing the full rig Laser in the C Division, earning 163 points to place sixth against some of the larger sailors who are more physically fitted for the event.

The moderate winds, which ran between five and 10 knots, allowed for a full rotation of 20 races, but the unusual, trapezoidal racecourse was rife with choppy waters and a strong current — circumstances that Brown felt were less than ideal.

“We experienced some difficult conditions,” Brown said. “We didn’t do as well as we wanted to, but we learned a couple things about our start that we need to work on this week in order to qualify for nationals.”

Barrows further emphasized the technical errors the team made this past weekend, which cost them the chance to repeat last year’s victory at King’s Point.

“I felt that we sailed well, overall, but we made some big mistakes in one or two races that cost us quite a bit,” Barrows said. “That kept us from doing as well as we had hoped.”

The Thompson Trophy regatta was similarly difficult, with inclement and unpredictable weather conditions. Saturday, the wind ranged anywhere from five to 12 knots; Sunday, winds averaged an unruly 10 to 15 knots, which lent the water a slight chop. The perimeter of the course was most favorable for sailing, while the middle featured disadvantageous winds and shifts.

The Southern Series Six event in Rhode Island proved to be a success for the Bulldogs, who emerged victorious after scoring only 41 points over the 10 races in each division.

Rufus Peabody ’08, Emmet Smith ’09 and Kate Williams ’08 won the A Divison with a total of 21 points, winning six of the 10 races. Sailors in the B Division tasted victory as well, with Andrew Kurzok ’11 and Lynn McGregor ’08 sailing Saturday and Smith and John Vrolyk ’10 sailing Sunday. They collectively scored 20 points over the course of the 10 races, winning six of them — including five in a row.

On another positive note, the No. 3 Bulldog sailors qualified for the ICSA Women’s National Championships, having placed fourth at the New England Women’s Championship for the Reed Trophy held at the McNay Family Sailing Center. Fourteen of the region’s toughest women’s teams were present at the regatta, where No. 8 Boston College placed first after scoring a mere 118 points. Yale scored 155 points over the 14 races in each division: Jane Macky ’09 and Marla Menninger ’10 placed third in the A Division with 85 points, and in the B Division, Elizabeth Brim ’11, Rebecca Jackson ’10 and skipper Kate Hagemann ’09 placed third with 70 points.

The women’s team now looks forward to competing at nationals in Newport, R.I., from May 26 to 28, for which it failed to qualify last year and last won in 2004. Meanwhile, the co-ed team is gearing up for another busy weekend, with the ICSA Coed Dinghy National Championship Semfinals at USC, the BU Trophy hosted by Boston University and the Southern Series Seven event hosted by Salve Regina.

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