With only a month left before the national championship and the start of the postseason just around the corner, the Harvard women’s sailing team needed a finish in the top half of the field at the Reed Trophy Regatta to follow in the footsteps of its co-ed counterpart and extend its spring season.
The Crimson proved to be up to the challenge, taking home a fifth-place finish over the weekend to earn a spot in the ICSA Women’s National Championship.
The co-ed squad also had a solid weekend of sailing after qualifying for the ICSA Eastern Dinghy Championship Semifinal the previous week, finishing second in the Savin Hill Invitational and the Wellesley-Babson Tech Invite.
REED TROPHY, 45th WOMEN’S NEW ENGLAND CHAMPIONSHIP
The first day of racing at Bethel Point, Maine, did not provide optimal sailing conditions, as the Crimson had to battle rain, sleet, and even some snow all day. The second day proved to have nicer conditions, but the regatta had to be called early due to the lack of breeze.
Harvard finished the 45th Women’s New England Championship, hosted by Bowdoin, in fifth place, clinching a postseason berth.
The Crimson was once again led by a strong A-division performance from junior captain Alex Jumper and classmate Emily Lambert, highlighted by three second-place finishes. With Lambert at skipper, the duo managed to best Ivy League rival Yale by two points, finishing in second place only behind Boston College, the top-ranked team in the nation.
Senior Meghan Wareham, who typically sails with the co-ed squad, joined freshman skipper Morgan Russom to compete in the B division. Racing together for the first time this season, the duo managed to capture two sixth-place finishes but finished in ninth place in five of the six other races. Overall, the pair finished the regatta in 10th place.
“It’s a culmination of all of the hard work that we have put in this season,” Jumper said. “Most of the top teams in the country are in the New England area, so we compete against them all the time, whether in conference races or this week’s past regatta. We’ll probably see most of these teams in the postseason, so we’ll take all of the competition and use it as preparation for high pressure environments.”
Meanwhile, the co-ed squad, fresh off of qualifying for the postseason last weekend, traveled to King’s Point, N.Y., to compete in the Admiral’s Cup Regatta. Racing against 16 of the top teams in the country, Harvard proved that it could sail with the best in the nation. The Crimson turned in one of the most consistent performances of the weekend, garnering a second-place finish, even though none of Harvard’s teams finished above fourth place in their individual divisions.
“This regatta was more fleet racing, which will be more of the type of racing we’ll see at the national semifinals,” sophomore Alma Lafler said. “We were just using this as experience to get ready for the postseason.”
In the A division, senior skipper Alan Palmer teamed up with classmate Quincy Bock and Lafler, who split crew duties, to capture fifth place in the tightly contested division.
The B-division squad, comprised of senior skipper John Stokes and crews Bock, Lafler, and sophomore Jason Michas, turned in a fifth-place finish as well.
Senior Tedd Himler took care of the C-division races on his own, finishing in fourth place in a very competitive division that saw fourth, fifth, and sixth places separated by only two points.
“We were hoping to use this regatta as practice and a last-minute tune-up for semis in California this weekend,” Palmer said.
WELLESLEY-BABSON TECH INVITE
The final regatta may not have had any implications on the postseason for college sailing, but nonetheless, the Crimson competed at a high level against in-state rivals Tufts, Wellesley, and Boston University.
Each college sent out two teams to compete in the local-level event on the nearby Charles River. The Harvard A and B teams both turned in remarkable scores, finishing in second and third places, respectively. First place went to Tufts with a low score of 15, while the Crimson teams turned in scores of 20 and 21.
—Staff writer Ricky Liu can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.