SAILING | Elis on to semis

Despite volatile winds and nail-biting competition this weekend, Yale’s coed sailors clinched their place at the ICSA National Semifinals to be held on the first weekend in May.

The No. 3 coed sailing team placed fifth at the New England Dinghy Championships this Saturday and Sunday, and the No. 2 women’s team ended the regular season with a win at the Emily Wick/Sloop Shrew Trophies held at Coast Guard.

The Elis sailed FJs and 420s at the New England Dinghy Championship for the Coast Guard Alumni Bowl. Overall, Boston College toped the competition in the 16 races over two divisions with 207 points. The Elis placed fifth with 229, narrowly beating Vermont in a tiebreaker.

“It was pretty nerve-racking because the New England conference is by far the deepest conference,” Mike Hession ’10 said. “The teams we were racing this weekend are the ones will see at Nationals. There were several teams right there in the thick of it with us.”

As one of the eight top finishing teams at the New London, Conn., regatta, the Bulldogs have been invited to the ICSA National Semifinals to be held in Boston on May 2 and 3. The event, hosted by Harvard, will include 18 of the top sailing teams in the nation. The Elis, who race in the Western division finals, placed second in this event last season.

Joseph Morris ’12, Grace Becton ’09 and Hession placed second in the B division with 97 points. The trio placed in the top five in 12 of 16 races, and won three outright.

“It was not an easy regatta, but everyone worked very hard to make sure we made the top eight,” Blair Belling ’11 said. “The conditions were really challenging. It was hard to find any consistent patterns with the wind, and there was a ton of current.”

Thomas Barrows ’10 and Belling took eighth in the A division with 132 points. They ended with one win and six top-five finishes.

“Making it through this phase was definitely the most stressful on the road to nationals,” Belling said.

The team also placed eighth in the Oberg Trophy at MIT, this weekend. Sailing in FJs and Techs, Andrew Kurzrok ’11, Margot Benedict ’12, Genoa Warner ’12 and Emmet Smith ’09 earned 329 points over two days of sailing.

Saturday, the team sent John Vrolyk ’10, Ale Chu ’11, Rob Struckett ’12, and Stephanie Schuyler ’12 to the Southern Series Five event at Roger Williams.

At the Emily Wick/Sloop Shrew Trophies, the No. 2 women’s team placed in the top five in 20 of their 32 races. Sailing FJs and 420s, the team completed 14 races in two divisions on Saturday before racing in 18 Sunday.

The mental battle between the Blue and the increasingly shifty, strong winds made racing difficult on the Thames river, but Jane Macky ’09, Marla Menninger ’10, Kate Hagemann ’09, Elizabeth Brim ’11 and Rebecca Jackson ’10 earned 164 points overall.

The women’s next race will be the Women’s New England Championships on April 25 to 26 in Burlington, Vt. The event is the qualifier for the ICSA Women’s National Championship to be held later in the spring.

Next weekend, the coed team will enter the Admiral’s Cup at the US Merchant Marine Academy — one of the largest three-division races of the year. They will also head to the Thompson Trophy at Coast Guard, the George Morris Trophy Intersectional at Boston University, the Priddy Trophy for the Freshman Single Division Championships and the Southern Series Six event.

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