NEW HAVEN, Conn.—The No. 7 Bulldogs will officially begin their endeavor to repeat as National Champions at the Women's New England Championships hosted by Brown. The Bulldogs hope to follow in the footsteps of the Co-ed team, which had a strong showing last weekend finishing second at their New England Championships.
Last year, the Bulldogs, ranked number one at the time, sailed to the win at the New England Championships on the back of an impressive Saturday, at the end of which both duos were winning their respective divisions. While Sunday was not as strong, the Bulldogs held on for the win with Jane Macky '09 and senior Marla Menninger finishing sixth in A division and Kate Hagemann '09 and junior Elizabeth Brim finishing first in B division.
The top seven finishers at the New England Championships will qualify for post-season competition. The top two teams will automatically qualify for the National Championship on May 25-27 in Wisconsin. The third through seventh place finishers will qualify for semifinals, also in Wisconsin, May 25-26. The top nine teams at the Semifinals qualify for the National Championship. If Mother Nature does not cooperate and the semifinals cannot be sailed, then the top five finishers at New England's will sail in the final. While complicated, the semifinal format, which is in its second year for the women, creates a deeper fleet in the National Championships as more teams from the strong regions such as New England and the Mid-Atlantic can qualify for the finals while weaker regions will not be guaranteed as many spots.
With a slightly different line-up, the Bulldogs finished eighth at the Dellenbaugh Trophy at Brown at the beginning of April. After struggling on day one, the Bulldogs stormed back on day two, gaining great experience at Brown's venue on the Naragansett Bay in Cranston, R.I. Sailing at Brown is also different in that they use FJ rudders on 420s forcing sailors to adjust to this interesting set-up.
While the pressure is on, the Bulldogs are excited for the weekend. It will give them an opportunity to size themselves up against the top teams in New England, many of which are among the top teams in the nation. Racing will begin at 9:30 a.m.
Report filed by Margot Benedict '12, Yale Sports Publicity