While reading period and final exams still remain a few weeks away, the Harvard sailing team faced its toughest test of the fall season this past weekend. After nearly two months of competitions, both the co-ed and women’s squads competed at their respective Atlantic Coast Championships this past weekend against the top collegiate sailing teams from up and down the East Coast.
The co-ed squad came away from its fall season-ending competition with a sixth place finish, while the women’s team placed 12th in its end-of-the-season regatta.
“It was obviously nice to qualify for and compete at the Atlantic Coast Championships this past weekend,” junior Alexandra Jumper said. “While we faced some challenging conditions, I think the women’s team had a productive weekend.”
ATLANTIC COAST DINGHY CHAMPIONSHIP, FISKE-HARRIMAN-SLEIGH
The co-ed team sent its best sailors down to Annapolis, Md., over the weekend to compete at the 2010 Atlantic Coast Dinghy Championship hosted by Navy. The championship regatta brought together the 18 best collegiate sailing teams, and the Crimson came away with a sixth-place team finish.
“For most of the regatta, [Harvard was] in the top four,” senior skipper John Stokes said. “But it was a tough weekend, as there was almost no wind, which made for light and shifty difficult conditions.”
Senior skipper Alan Palmer and senior crew Quincy Bock teamed up in the A division of racing and placed seventh, recording a score of 66 over the course of eight races in the two days of competition. The duo notched one race victory and finished just seven points out of fifth place.
“Many of the races this weekend were competed in marginal conditions, as there was barely enough wind in order to compete,” Stokes said. “This caused lots of frustration and made it difficult to sail consistently throughout the weekend.”
With Stokes skippering, senior Meghan Wareham provided the crew duties in the B division of racing, in which the Crimson pair matched their A-division counterparts in placing seventh. The duo earned two top-three finishes over the weekend and fell just eight points shy of third place in the division.
“[This 6th-place finish] does not dampen the rest of our strong performances this fall season,” Stokes said. “We competed against the top teams and showed that we have good boat speed and boat handling skills compared to the other schools.”
“Sixth place was also good enough for us to finish first in our conference rankings for the fall season, so while we would have liked to sail better, this sets us up well for the spring season, where I think we can take advantage of our depth and great coaching to compete well in team racing,” Stokes added.
WOMEN’S ATLANTIC COAST CHAMPIONSHIPS
The women’s squad traveled down to south Florida over the weekend to compete in the Women’s Atlantic Coast Championships hosted by Eckerd College. A pair of juniors and a pair of freshmen combined to bring home a 12th-place finish in an 18-team field.
“It was nice to compete in St. Petersburg and to sail in a warmer place than we are used to,” Jumper said.
Junior captain and skipper Emily Lambert teamed up with Jumper, who provided the crewing duties, to finish sixth in the A-division of racing. The junior duo finished in the top-five in five out of the 15 races over the two days of competition.
“Emily and I were happy with our finish in the A division,” Jumper said.
The freshmen pairing of skipper Morgan Russom and crew Caitlin Watson placed 16th in the B division, earning three top-six finishes.
“It has been great watching the freshmen come along as they learn a lot,” Jumper said. “They have been a great addition to the team, and I am excited to see what they can do come the spring season.”
—Staff writer Thomas D. Hutchison can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.