Bulldog sailors battled with inconsistent conditions and performances this weekend as they competed in several events in Connecticut and the Greater Boston area before next weekend’s national qualifiers.
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At the Stu Nelson Trophy hosted by Connecticut College, the No. 3 women’s team finished second. In nearby Branford, Conn. at the Yale-hosted Sound Invitational, the No. 3 coed team took 12th and 14th. Other coed sailors also took 15th in the Oberg Trophy and 13th in the Sherman Hoyt trophy.
At the Stu Nelson Trophy, the women’s team received a preview of what they might see next week at the Connecticut College-hosted Atlantic Coast Championship qualifers. A weak wind made it difficult for boats to push through the strong current. At times, on Sunday the boats barely moved at all.
“Connecticut College[‘s waterway] is known to have variable conditions,” Emily Billing ’13 said, “We just tried to stay focused.”
Skipper Marlena Fauer ’14 and crew Elizabeth Brim ’11 used a race win and a couple of thirds to elevate them to second place in the A division. B division sailors Billing and Senem Cilingiroglu ’13 finished Saturday with first and fifteenth place finishes back to back.
“We kind of tried to laugh it off,” Billing said of the disparity. “We just wanted to try to be a little more consistent on Sunday.”
The next day, the pair never placed lower than eighth, giving them a third place finish overall in the B division. In the combined A and B division score the women Elis fell three points short of first-place Connecticut College.
At the Sherman Hoyt Trophy on a very shifty Narragansett Bay, coed team member Joseph Morris ’12 skippered the A division boat along with help from crews Amanda Salvesen ’14 and Claire Dennis ’13. Morris and Salvesen grabbed a third in their second race, but the A-division sailors met some trouble midway through Saturday as they finished worse than 13th in four consecutive races. The group sat in 13th place in the division at the end of Saturday.
B division skipper Cameron Cullman ’13 worked with crews Blair Belling ’11 and Salvesen, and they found success early, grabbing two fourths in the first three races. However, they struggled during their next three placing 14th, 18th, and 17th. This dropped the group to fourteenth in the B division. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, a lack of wind Sunday forced an early cancellation of the competition, and the inability to make a comeback. Morris said that when the conditions are as variable as they were on Saturday, sailors need a large number of races to balance the good and bad breaks, but the team has its sights set on next weekend’s Atlantic Coast Championship qualifiers.
“We’re going to practice this week on starting,” Morris said of the team’s preparation for the event. “We’ve got to keep trying to be mentally tough.”
Another group of coed sailors traveled to Boston for the Oberg Trophy at MIT. After a full Saturday of competition, a windless Sunday forced an early conclusion to the competition. Rob Struckett ’12 and Isabel Elliman ’12 grabbed 11th in the A division while Max Nickbarg ’14 and Anna Han ’14 finished 9th in the B division. Nathan Stevens ’11 and Tatyana Camejo ’11 placed 15th in the C division.
Yale’s McNay Family Sailing Center hosted the Sound Invitational last weekend, the third consecutive college regatta held at the center. The event featured eighteen teams from various colleges up and down the eastern seaboard. Skipper Nace Cohen ’14 and crews Madeline Yozwiak ’14 and Alexa Chu ’11 placed one boat in twelfth while Zachary Foreman ’13, Katherine Eshel ’13, Chu and Yozwiak captained the Bulldogs’ other 420 to fourteenth.
Next weekend, the women’s team will revisit Connecticut College for the Women’s Victorian Urn, a qualifying event for the Women’s Atlantic Coast Championships. The coed team will make another trip to Boston for the Schell Trophy hosted by MIT which serves as a qualifying event for the coed Atlantic Coast Championships.