Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Apparently no wind is predicted until the weekend. Hoping for a miracle
Liz sitting
My new friend
Claire reading
Some of us are being occupied by playing our own version of spoons---pens!
Still waiting for wind...
The water is completely glassy. Everyone is getting some great reading time in. Do a little wind dance for us
No wind...The only bright spot is that they have extended the racing deadline to 8pm. A division is still out floating on glass

Day 2!

Here we go!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Day 1

The biggest morning of the season thus far donned with a crash and a bang which was followed by a long day of getting dressed and discovering there was nowhere to go except swimming in the lake on the sweltering humid day or inside to play catch phrase and other time absorbing games. While the lack of wind did spark a great deal of creativity, it was not at all conducive to sailing and left the Bulldogs without any results to carry them into tomorrow.

Following a torrential rain storm and a skippers meeting, the breeze shut off. A division headed out once the storm had dissipated but was greeted with an absence of wind. They floated around for a long time before being called back in.

After another block of time on land lapsed before a miniscule puff of breeze filled sending senior Sarah Lihan and junior Elizabeth Brim back out on the water. The sound of race warning horns produced cheers from those on shore, as it appeared that the 2010 ICSA Women’s National Semifinals were finally getting underway.

The race began in a bit of breeze that died on the second beat. Lihan and Brim were flagged for rule 42 (too much boat manipulation), forcing them to complete a 720, putting them towards the back of the pack. They climbed their way back to seventh when the race was abandoned on the third leg due to an extreme lack of wind.

For the second time, the Bulldogs returned to shore without a race. Feeling creative, the Bulldogs invented some games, which can be seen on Another thunderstorm rolled through, bringing wind. However, with continuing lightening the Bulldogs began to feel like a stuttering CD, as they prepared to go out on the water, getting dressed and pulling up the jib multiple times before the lightning returned, forcing everyone back on land. Finally, the regatta was called for the day at 6:15 p.m.

Three races must be completed in both divisions tomorrow to make the semifinals count. Otherwise, the nationals will just be sailed among the teams who qualified based on the old standards. This means that only five teams from NEISA will sail, putting the Bulldogs, who finished sixth at the New England Championships based on a tiebreaker, on the outside of qualifying.

While the forecast is not particularly optimistic for tomorrow, the regatta schedule allows for sailing from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., which will hopefully allow for a chance to complete the races.

Never mind--more thunderstorms
And finally at almost five o'clock we have wind!! A division is headed out
Catch phrase and a storm coming in= off the water bonding time for the Bulldogs
Claire goes for it
Bill gives it a try
Heather working it
New form of entertainment-- Claire Dennis tosses the frisbee and Heather May attempts to catches it on the cheesehead. Following numerous misses and a little help from her hand May finally makes the grab.
B Division: All dressed up with nowhere to go
Race just called off after three legs. There is NO breeze and everyone is getting antsy.
A division back out on the water. The lake, while chilly, offers some very refreshing swimming. The water seems glassy but the boats appear to be moving slightly.
No wind-- A division just came in

Launching to Bob

Lucky Number 18

Bobbing Out to the Start


Unfortunately, while the sun has emerged, the wind has disappeared. A division is currently bobbing in one knot.

A division is out sailing in a bit of breeze and the sun has come out.


Emily and Me Wearing the Cheesehead
First thunderstorm down, one more to go. We are starting to rig in hopes of going out in case the second storm doesn't come through.
Here we go! Blair is "giddy with excitement" despite the rain and some thunder. We received a cheese hat at registration that will certainly be worn throughout the day. Stay tuned for updates!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Arrival in Wisconsin!!

The day began at 3am with a lovely trip free of traffic from New Haven to Laguardia. Most of the team was a bit on the exhausted side including Coach Bill who pulled an allnighter. Arriving in Milwaukee before eight, it already felt like it was the afternoon. We emerged out into the hot humid air of America's Dairyland to find BC waiting for a rental car. Half the group headed off in a mini van while some of us got the opportunity to cruise in style in a Grand Marquis. Here are Liz and Claire enjoying the cushy seating while waiting for Bill.
Upon reaching Madison we headed out for lunch and walked down to the waterfront. We saw the new boats as well as a cow boat and some ducks.

Welcome to Wisco

Boats and Sailing Center

Cow Boat (greatly appreciated by the Vermonter)

Liz trying to make friends (Mama Duck was not having any of it)

While some headed to the hotel to get some shut eye, the rest of us headed to the Henry Vilas Zoo across town which doesn't have any admission fees.

Heather, Me and Emily monkeying around
We will all sleep well tonight following an extremely long exhausting day. Despite the lack of sleep, we are all excited for tomorrow when the title defense begins!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

No. 7 Bulldogs Look to Repeat on Lake Mendota

NEW HAVEN, Conn.- Early on the morning of May 24th, the Bulldogs will fly to Madison, Wisc., to begin the five-day journey that will hopefully culminate in a second straight National title. While the Bulldogs are considered slight underdogs to take the championship again, they have spent an intense week prepping for the big dance.
Nationals will be held May 25-28 on Lake Mendota on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The first day will be a semi-final competition for the last nine spots in the national championship. The Bulldogs are one of the 18 teams from across the country fighting to join the automatics in the finals. The second day will be a half-day of semi-final competition if at least six races have been completed in both divisions over the day and a half. If fewer than six races have been sailed then the semi-final competition will continue for the rest of the day. If six have been sailed then the finals competition will begin following a lunch break. May 27 and 28 will both be full days of sailing for the National Championship beginning each morning at 9:30. No race can begin after 5:00 p.m. on Friday.
The University of Wisconsin last hosted the event in 1996. They are extremely excited to host the event this year in conjunction with the Hoofer Sailing Club. Wisconsin is a perennial power in the Midwest and often travels east to participate in regattas in the Northeast. The Wisconsin women’s team qualified for the semi-finals and will get to sail on their home waters in their 420s. North Sails is providing the sails for the event.
The Bulldogs will face stiff competition in the semi-finals. Both No. 1 Boston College and No. 3 Charleston had off weekends at their respective regional championships, causing them to miss grabbing the automatic finals slots. While being assured of a berth in the finals is less nerve wracking, the Bulldogs will get some quality time on the waters of Lake Mendota and in the Wisconsin 420s. Much like lakes in the Northeast, Mendota can throw pretty much every condition at the sailors. The wind can range from none or very little to colossal.
Because of the unpredictable wind conditions, the Bulldogs are bringing a large contingency, providing them with options and a sizable cheering squad. Seniors Sarah Lihan and Rebecca Jackson, juniors Elizabeth Brim and Blair Belling, sophomores Genoa Warner, Stephanie Schuyler and Margot Benedict, and freshmen Emily Billing, Claire Dennis and Heather May will all be making the trip to Madison. Senior Marla Menninger will also be available to come off the bench for the finals once she arrives with the Co-eds early on May 27.
While the season has been a bit of a rollercoaster for the Bulldogs, they find themselves in the perfect position to peak at the right time. With plenty of motivation as well as vigorous practice, the Bulldogs are primed and prepared to sail their way, beat by beat, to the most important finish of all and to prove that rankings don’t mean anything if there isn’t a trophy involved.