Last week’s hurricane brought the most memorable weather in recent memory. It canceled sporting events around the country, including the New York City Marathon and the season-opening game between the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets.
At the beginning of last week it appeared that the Harvard sailing team would not compete in the Hap Moore Trophy Regatta. Yet, through the efforts of coaches and organizers, the regatta went on, and the Crimson placed third out of eight teams.
The United States Coast Guard Academy, the host of the event, canceled the regatta earlier in the week. The Academy was unable to host the event due to storm-related damage.
As a result, the regatta moved just north to Connecticut College, and racers sailed on Camel Pond. Four teams from the Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association could not make it to the relocated regatta. Each of the eight remaining teams, including Harvard, came from the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association.
According to Crimson head coach Mike O’Connor, the hectic schedule changes did not affect the team.
“We were preparing for the regatta regardless of what was going to happen,” O’Connor said. “We didn’t think it had any negative effect.”
The racers faced varying winds throughout the weekend. Moderate winds blew all day on Saturday, but they died a little on the following day despite high-knot winds in the morning.
Harvard’s sailors started performing slowly but progressed throughout the weekend.
“Our performance on Saturday was not quite as good as we would have liked,” O’Connor said. “Our performance on Sunday was maybe a little bit better, so overall we are happy with the results. We didn’t start very well on Saturday, and we did much better on Sunday. I think our results reflected that [and] I think we only lost one race on Sunday.”
The Crimson finished with nine wins and five losses on the weekend. Boston College dominated the competition, finishing with 13 wins and one loss. Last weekend’s regatta was scored in the fleet-racing format, as opposed to the usual team-racing scoring system.
Hurricane Sandy also altered Harvard’s upcoming regatta. On October 27, the Crimson qualified for the Co-ed Atlantic Coast Championship regatta with a seventh place finish in the Schell Trophy Regatta. Harvard earned its post-season berth in dramatic fashion. Only the top-eight finishers made it through to ACC’s, and the Crimson won the final spot by tallying just one point fewer than the team from the University of Vermont.
The Merchant Marine Academy was supposed to host the championship in King’s Point, N.Y., but the Academy canceled due to complications from Hurricane Sandy, and the event organizers moved the regatta to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Soon after, the Naval Academy canceled the event because some of the eighteen teams were unable to make it to the championships. The event will not be changed to another location.
Harvard will now compete in a nine-boat regatta comprised of teams from the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association.
Junior captain Ben Lamont says that the team will not alter its focus despite the cancelation of the championship.