Between balancing schoolwork and practice, the members of the Harvard sailing team rarely get the opportunity to compete in an actual regatta against opposing schools during the week.
But the team got the chance to do so for the first time this season yesterday afternoon at the Midweek Technical Invitational 1, hosted by MIT on the waters of the Charles River.
“This is a different sort of atmosphere than a typical regatta,” sophomore Nick Waldo said. “There are fewer races than normal, since we compress the event into one afternoon.”
While the majority of the sailing team was off practicing elsewhere, the Crimson sent three sailors to race at the regatta to compete against several other Boston-area teams. Waldo skippered one boat alongside junior crew Caroline Lowe, both of whom also sailed at last year’s spring Midweek Technical Invitational 1. Junior Grant Wonders was paired up with a member of Wellesley College to form a mixed team in another boat.
“It’s a different experience from practice,” Waldo said. “During practice, we learn different techniques to help us perform better while racing, and we also get on-the-spot criticism and instruction from the coaches. But there’s nothing like getting to execute during an actual regatta and putting those skills to the test.”
In the low-key event, most of the focus for Harvard was placed upon executing to perfection.
“This regatta had a much more relaxing atmosphere than normal,” Waldo said. “There was less pressure, so the main point for us was to gain experience and improve our overall sailing performance.”
Harvard had to deal with the difficult job of sailing in heavy boats with light winds, but both boats handled the task at hand, sailing particularly well on the afternoon and consistently finishing near the top of the pack, coming in second to fourth place in the majority of their races. Official results for the invitational have not yet been posted.