Tough weather conditions proved insurmountable for the Harvard sailing team this weekend, which took sixth-place finishes in the Hood Trophy and the Women’s Regis Cup and a 15th-place finish at the St. Mary’s Fall Interconference. Two individual sailors finished 10th and 19th in the NEISA Men’s Singlehanded Championship.
Crimson coach Mike O’Connor acknowledged that the team has a lot of work ahead of it, but he commended the squad’s effort against stiff competition.
“We need to start more consistently, but we showed that we handle shifty conditions well,” O’Connor said. “The level of effort and enthusiasm on the team is very encouraging.”
Freshman Mark Zaleski—who improved upon an 11th-place solo collegiate debut last week with a 10th-place finish this week—says he believes that the team’s makeup of mostly younger sailors provides a unique opportunity for team growth.
“This year we don’t have one person who can really carry the team by themselves,” Zaleski said. “We are just trying to get as much experience as possible in the shortest amount of time. You can already see improvements from earlier on in the season.”
Although the results fell short of Harvard’s hopes, there were many bright moments throughout the weekend, as Crimson boats dominated several races within each regatta.
“We have a lot of room for improvement, but the good moments that we are having show what we are capable of,” senior Jason Michas said. “If we can make those the majority of the regattas, we will do very well this season.”
Harvard’s co-ed team sailed to a sixth-place finish in the Hood Trophy on Mystic Lake. Tufts hosted the 19-team race, in which sailors faced frequent wind shifts and inconsistent performances.
“It’s a very small body of water with lots of land around it, and that disturbs the wind,” Michas said. “We had very basic things that were going well for us all weekend, but sometimes we would get on the wrong side of a shift and have trouble recovering.”
Junior Alice Kenney and sophomore Gram Slattery overcame a rough start to lead Harvard’s Division A boat to several high-place finishes. The duo ended up in the fourth overall position. In Division B, Michas and junior Alma Lafler had four good races on Sunday morning, but they struggled with their consistency and placed 11th.
Yale got off to a strong start, winning several races to take a 12-point lead. But the Bulldogs could not contend with the wind conditions in the final race, and the regatta-host Jumbos claimed the No. 1 spot.
WOMEN’S REGIS BOWL
The Crimson women’s sailing team sailed on the familiar Charles River this weekend, placing sixth in the 16-team Regis Bowl.
Freshman Sophie Bermudez and sophomore Ashleigh Inglis piloted Harvard’s Division B boat to a fourth place finish. Juniors Caitlin Watson and Jacqueline Cooley raced in the A division for Harvard. The pair had two strong starts, but they struggled to find their footing and finished ninth overall.