SAILING | Coeds first in first competition

The No. 3 Yale coed sailors stormed through the Harry Anderson Intersectional this weekend to secure their first home opener win since 1991.

Finishing 17 points over the University of Vermont and 19 other teams, the Elis took first in both divisions to clench the win.

On Saturday, a twisted wind blew through cloudy skies, but the weather still ensured fair sailing.

“This weekend we were sailing at our home club,” Joseph Morris ’12 said. “It was pretty typical college conditions, though not really typical for the Yale venue.”

Thomas Barrows ’10 and Blair Belling ’11 took three second-place finishes in six races in the A division. In the B division, Morris and Marla Menninger ’10 sailed to first place twice in six races. By the end of Saturday, the Elis had a strong four-point lead over Brown.

“Thomas and Blair did a great job in the A division,” Morris said. “It was a great way to start the season and come off on a high note.”

Sunday proved a warmer, more pleasant day than previously predicted. With a four-to-10 knot breeze that split around the land, the sailors were forced to pick sides at the beginning of the turn, a tactical nightmare that the Elis handled quite professionally. With their tactics leading the way, they managed to extend their lead by 13 points, thus sealing the win with 143 points.

Barrows and Belling flushed the first three races with three first-place finishes in a row. The duo ended up taking the A division with 62 points. Morris and Menninger took the B division with 81 points.

“The competition was pretty good,” Barrows said. “Most of the top teams in the nation were here. It was the first regatta for the year — they’re still figuring out what skippers are going to sail.”

Belling added, “It’s always a good feeling to win. One of the best things about being able to compete at home is to have the support of our teammates — so many of our teammates came out to help run the event and support us.”

The No. 3 women’s sailing team began their 2009-’10 season with a sixth place finish at MIT’s inaugural Antonia Schuman Trophy this weekend.

The competition on the Charles River included two fleets of FJs. Both the A and B division fleets sailed 16 races on Saturday in a classic Boston breeze.

Sunday, the winds lessened slightly and became more difficult to coax into the sail. Each division sailed eight races.

The FJ event proved challenging since the Bulldogs, who have trained all summer on Yale’s new fleet of 420s, were used to heavier boats.

Rebecca Jackson ’10 and Elizabeth Brim ’11 placed seventh in the A division, finishing in the top five in 12 of their 24 races. Genoa Warner ’12 and Heather May ’13 finished fifth in the B division.

The women’s team will race in the Mrs. Hurst’s Women’s regatta at Dartmouth on Saturday and Sunday.

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