SAILING | Inconsistency hampers Elis

It was an up-and-down weekend for the Bulldog sailors over the weekend as the teams struggled with difficult starts at several New England regattas.

The coed Elis placed third at the Southern New England Team Race Intersectional in New London, Conn., and the women placed eighth at the Dellenbaugh Trophy at Brown.

Hosted by Connecticut College and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, the coed regatta began Saturday morning with a medium breeze and sunny skies — the first good weather the Bulldogs have seen in New England this season.

After the preliminary qualifying round at the U.S.C.G. Academy, the Bulldogs barely placed into the Gold Fleet, so they had the chance to race for the title. Gold Fleet events took place at the Connecticut College venue further up the Thames River.

“Saturday we had a little bad luck, and we were not executing on some of our plays,” Joe Morris ‘12 said. “Sunday we had probably the best day of team racing we’ve had all year.”

Thomas Barrows ’10, Michael Hession ’10, Sarah Lihan ’10, Marla Menninger ’10, Blair Belling ’11, Elizabeth Brim ’11 and Morris sailed for the Bulldogs. In each team race, three double-handed boats manned by Elis faced three boats from another school. The best combination of finishes won the round.

Conditions were moderate on Saturday and Sunday, with winds between five to 12 knots. However, the breeze was inconsistent, even within races.

Although the team struggled getting into the Gold Fleet races on Saturday, by Sunday the Bulldogs were back in form and managed to claim third place.

The team also sent two teams of racers to the Southern Series Three event hosted by the University of Rhode Island. The event’s divisions were combined during the races, so Yale had four boats sailing in each race. Yale boats finished fifth, eighth, ninth and 10th over the course of 10 races in eight to 12 knot breeze.

The women’s sailing team was back to fleet racing over the weekend after their successful first foray into the world of team racing the weekend before.

Saturday morning the squad faltered in the Brown-hosted event, and by the end of the day was in 17th place. Heather May ‘13 said this was due to the heavy winds, which reached 18 knots.

“The first day it was pretty breezy,” May said. “We have a pretty light team, so it’s difficult to stay in there with the heavier teams [when the wind picks up].”

With slightly calmer winds Sunday, the team charged back to finish eighth. The breeze on Sunday ranged from five to 10 knots, and sunny weather provided relief after weeks of sailing in the pouring rain. The only complaint was the shifty wind.

In the A division, Claire Dennis ’13 and May sailed to a sixth-place finish with 116 points. It was the duo’s first time sailing in the tougher division, as Lihan, who just began sailing with the coed team race squad, usually sails in the women’s A division. The duo will most likely continue in that role in the future.

“It was kind of a new thing,” May said. “We are really happy with how it turned out because it’s harder competition. It gave us a lot of hope for years to come.”

In the B division, however, the shifty winds caused more trouble. Rebecca Jackson ’10, Genoa Warner ’12 and Stephanie Schuyler ’12 finished 17th in the B division with 159 points.

Next week, the coed sailors head to the Marchiando and Friis Trophies at MIT and Tufts, the Team Racing A Level at Roger Williams, and the Southern Series Four at U.S.C.G. Academy. The women’s team will sail in the President’s Trophy at Boston University.

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