Inconsistency Lands Harvard Sailing Fifth in Weekend Regattas

Still seeking to find its way following the departure of numerous key members at the end of last year, the Harvard sailing team posted modest results over the weekend.

The Crimson finished outside its customary top-tier in the weekend’s two main regattas, the Mrs. Hurst Bowl Regatta and the Hatch Brown Trophy Regatta, placing fifth in each.

In both instances, inconsistency proved costly and prevented Harvard from finishing higher.

At the Mrs. Hurst, hosted by Dartmouth, frequently shifting light winds often led to periods of calm, forcing the team to look for the occasional puffs wherever they could be found.

Junior Jennie Philbrick captained Harvard ‘A’ boat, paired with classmate Diana Rodin. The duo sailed consistently for much of the weekend, but fell to eighth within their division as a result of two bad finishes late in the competition.

Salvaging the Crimson’s place in the regatta, Harvard’s ‘B’ boat, with junior skipper Clemmie Everett and sophomore Laura Schubert, closed with first and second place finishes, allowing the pair to take top honors in the division. The tandem’s results clinched Harvard’s fifth place, after Dartmouth, Tufts, Georgetown and Brown.

Closer to home at the Hatch Brown Trophy regatta, hosted by MIT, the Crimson was bedeviled not only by wind, but also by the boats that they sailed.

Half the races in the regatta featured Flying Juniors, the standard college racing vessel, while the other half showcased Technical Dinghies, used exclusively by MIT.

Harvard’s ‘A’ boat, captained by senior Dan Litchfield and crewed by senior Zoe Epstein, raced these ‘techs’ during the first half of the regatta and performed poorly, placing in the top five only twice.

However, midway through the regatta all teams switch to standard F.J.’s, at which point Litchfield and Epsten took control and finished in the top five in all the remaining races. The pair came from eleventh place and over 60 points behind to win its division.

Unfortunately, Harvard’s ‘B’ boat did not enjoy such success. Starting in the F.J.’s, seniors Gabe Dorfman and Natalie MacLean began the second day of competition with solid results and third place. But like the ‘A’ boat counterparts, they experienced difficulty in adjusting to the unfamiliar techs and an accompanying change in wind.

“We are able to recover much better in the F.J.’s than the techs,” Dorfman said. “Once you’re behind in the techs, it’s very hard to catch up.”

The two fell to eighth within the division, dropping Harvard to fifth overall behind Brown, St. Mary’s, Hobart/William Smith and MIT.

In more regional competition, Harvard took fourth at the Metro Series, held at Tufts on Saturday. In the ‘A’ boat, junior skipper Caroline Dixon and crew Emily Nielson took second in division, while junior Gabe Jostrom paired with sophomore Jenny Wong and placed fourth in the ‘B’ division. The two teams combined to take fourth, finishing behind Tufts, BC and Dartmouth.

The following day at the Team Race, also hosted by Tufts, the pairs consisting of Liam Mahoney and Lisa Vura-Weis, Sam Clark and Daphne Lyman, and John Mulcahy and Wong, raced impressively and placed second behind Tufts.

The Crimson performed best on its own water, dominating two invitationals at Harvard.

At Saturday’s Invite at Harvard, freshman skipper Genny Tulloch paired with junior Liz Lord to win the ‘A’ division. In the ‘B’ division, freshmen Sloan Devlin and Mallory Greimann also took first, solidifying a Crimson victory.

On Sunday, at the Freshman Invite at Harvard, skipper Vince Porter and crew Britton Tullo dominated the fleet, winning all but one race.

“We sailed very consistently,” Tullo said. “We won almost every race, which almost never happens.”

In the ‘B’ division, Devlin and Greimann took second, missing out on first by a single point, but sealing Harvard’s second victory of the weekend.

The Crimson looks to bounce back next weekend at the Hood Trophy at Tufts and the Olympian’s Trophy at the Courageous Sailing Center in Charlestown. Harvard will also be competing locally at MIT and Boston University next weekend.