Yale sailors found success close to home over the weekend, winning the Ted Ferrarone Team Race on Sunday.
Six members of the No. 7 coed team captured the title in nearby Branford, Conn., after a tiebreaking race victory over second-place New York Maritime. Another delegation of sailors from the coed team finished sixth at the Southern New England Team Race. Representatives from the No. 2 women’s sailing team took second at the Dellenbaugh Women’s Trophy down the road at Brown University.
The Ted Ferrarone title win is a step in the right direction for a coed team with national title aspirations.
“I think the team is only going to get better as the season goes on,” said Andrew Kurzrok ’11, who competed for the Ted Ferrarone title-winning team. “Even this regatta was a huge help toward making us work together. I think that the gains are going to keep building on themselves.”
Kurzrok, Rob Struckett ’12 and Max Nickbarg ’14 skippered with crews Anna Han ’14, Isabel Elliman ’12 and Tatyana Camejo ’11 and competed for the Ted Ferrarone title at Yale’s McNay Family Sailing Center in what Kurzrok described as “perfect conditions.”
The regatta brought together six teams for a multiple-round competition. In the first round, the Bulldogs finished 4–1, with the only loss coming against New York Maritime. Fortunately for Yale, Maritime suffered two losses, giving the Bulldogs the best record at the end of round one. Another 4–1 finish in the second round and another loss to New York Maritime put the Elis at 8–2 overall. A perfect second round for Maritime meant that the two teams sat at 8–2 after two rounds. The Bulldogs entered the third round on Sunday with a day-opening matchup against Maritime.
The Bulldogs won the third race against the Privateers. Because too much wind forced the cancellation of the regatta, that race acted as a tiebreaker for the top two schools, giving Yale the overall victory.
“On Sunday, it was our first race of the day and we were really focused on beating [New York Maritime],” Kurzrok said. “We got the win, but we weren’t able to finish the round-robin because of the wind.”
The Bulldogs’ full team racing lineup of skippers Cam Cullman ’13, Chris Segerblom ’14 and Joseph Morris ’12, and crews Eugenia Custo Greig ’14, Blair Belling ’11, Rafael Fernandez ’13, Amanda Salvesen ’14 and Elizabeth Brim ’11 competed in intense conditions at the Southern New England Team Race on the Thames River in New London, Conn.
“It was really, really windy,” Cullman said. “There were some flips, a couple masts getting broken down, so it was pretty fun to be honest.”
In addition to battling the conditions, the Bulldogs faced strong competition that included No. 2 Boston College, No. 4 Roger Williams, No. 6 Navy and No. 8 Harvard. The Bulldogs finished 9–6 overall with wins over Roger Williams, Navy and No. 10 Hobart & William Smith. However, a few mistakes led to too many losses, and Harvard’s 14–1 overall record gave the Crimson the win.
“We were happy to pull out a sixth, and we were one win away from fourth,” Cullman said. “It was our first regatta together all as a team, so were happy to be sixth of 16 teams.”
Throughout most of the season, the coed team has competed in fleet racing competitions, in which one boat from each school races in a specific division against representative boats from other schools. The coed team has had quite a bit of success in this format, finishing eighth in the Atlantic Coast Championships last November and winning several smaller regattas in the fall.
But this past weekend, the coed team participated in two team racing regattas, in which three boats from one school compete head to head with three from another school. Team racing requires communication skills and teamwork, as three boats from each school are racing at a time. With freshman, sophomore and junior skippers, the members of the Yale team racing squad are still getting used to sailing with one another, but Cullman believes that they have potential.
“We’re learning exceptionally fast because we have Zach Brown ’08 coaching us and he’s one of the best team racers in the world,” Cullman said. “The sky’s the limit.”
In nearby Providence, R.I., the women’s team set its sights on the Dellenbaugh Women’s Trophy, a fleet racing event. In the A division, skipper Claire Dennis ’13 and crew Heather May ’13 got off to a slow start on Saturday, finishing outside the top eight in five of the first seven races.
“I was kind of nervous to get back to fleet racing. I was obviously excited, but I wasn’t as comfortable on the start line and around the course tactically as I usually am,” Dennis said. “Our communication in the boat was a little off because we’ve been having to do a lot of different things with the team racing tactics.”
The B division boat of Margot Benedict ’12 and Emily Billing ’13 surged with two race victories and five top fours in the first six races. However, both boats’ fortunes reversed on Sunday. The duo finished outside the top seven in four of the final six races.
In Sunday’s A division racing, Dennis said she and May focused on the basics and acquired two wins and five top fours in their final six races. Dennis and May ended up fourth in the A division while Benedict and Billing combined for third in the B division. A strong showing by the Brown B division boat of Emily Dellenbaugh and Cecilia Strombeck secured the overall win for the Bears and relegated the Elis to second.
Next weekend, the coed team will compete at the Marchiando Friis Trophy in Cambridge, Mass., the Admirals Aylmers in Buzzard’s Bay, Mass., and at the Kruger Cup in New London, Conn. The women’s team will join members of the coed team in Massachusetts, where they will compete in the President’s Trophy Intersectional on the Charles River.
Correction: April 4, 2011
An earlier version of this article misstated the reason the regatta ended early. The regatta was called off because it was too windy, not because of a lack of wind.