Blustery winds on the Charles cut short yesterday's Greater Boston sailing championships, but not before Harvard walked away with the title from the often-capsized, six-team field.
The event started out inauspiciously enough in the morning, as the three skippers from each school got underway from Community Boathouse in the sloop-rigged Mercuries. Despite the strong breeze and a few overturned boats, the host race committee from Northeastern was able to get in three races in each of the three divisions before lunch.
"But after lunch," Harvard coach Mike Horn said yesterday, "the number of capsized boats increased and they tried to sail the C division without jibs. The gusts were up to 20 to 25 miles per hour."
Even without jibs, however, the winds were flipping boats right and left, so the regatta was called after four races instead of the planned upon six, with the Crimson clearly ahead at that point.
Harvard's Tim Black, skippering in B division with crew Steve Saudek, ended up as low point skipper for the day with a first, two seconds and a third. Tony Leggett and crew John Ebel took on the A division and wound up with two seconds and a pair of fourths.
In C division Chris Hornig and Radcliffe star Mari Roehn with a second and two first in the first three races. But the winds of fate finally caught up with them and the pair capsized in the final race.
Highly touted Tufts ended up second overall, followed by MIT. Northeastern, Boston University and Boston College.
The Crimson squad, which qualified Saturday at Tufts for the New England Championships behind skippers Leggett and Black, will have to spread themselves thin next weekend. Harvard will be the only New England team to send representatives to the Ivy championships here on the Charles, the Yacht Racing Invitational at King's Point. New York and the Frils regatta at Tufts.
All three regattas are two-day events, and the latter two are major intersectional meets, featuring top teams from outside New England.
The Radcliffe squad, which started its season last Saturday by hosting and winning the Shrew Sloop Trophy by 42 points over second-place Jackson, will be at Yale next weekend attempting to qualify for the Nationals.
Sixteen teams are expected to show up, but only three will qualify. Radcliffe will be relying on the talents of Roehm and Pum Mack especially in the event. Roehm and Mack skippered the 'Cliffe to the impressive Shrew win.