The No. 17 Harvard sailing team sent boats out to three regattas across the northeast this weekend. The Crimson came back to Cambridge with a fifth-place finish and another top-10 result, as Harvard concluded the team racing portion of its spring season.
65TH FOWLE TROPHY
Connecticut College hosted 12 teams at the site of this year’s New England Team Race Championship. The Crimson finished middle of the pack with a sixth-place showing at the conference championship regatta. The top four teams—Roger Williams, Yale, Boston College, and Tufts—each qualified for the ICSA Team Racing Nationals.
“Obviously [we] didn’t get the result that we have been training for—a berth at Team Race Nationals,” junior Michael Drumm said. “But we sailed pretty well against tough competition. We did a good job [of] not making too many stupid mistakes that plagued some other teams, and did a pretty good job at staying calm after some tough races that didn’t go our way.”
Six other sailors from Harvard joined Drumm on the Thames River. The Crimson finished the weekend with a 7-9 record in the round robin spread.
“Our starts were a definite weakness in our game,” Drumm said. “Unfortunately, our starts were not very good when we were sailing against good teams, which made the rest of the race very difficult, since we were trying to catch up the entire time instead of making plays.”
Despite failing to qualify for nationals, the Crimson still has positives to take away from the Fowle Trophy.
“Our team recognized that a main area of our game that needed improvement was the execution of maneuvers,” Drumm said. “We worked on that a lot going into this regatta, and the practice definitely helped. Our team did many things correctly this weekend, but just like many other teams, we also made a few mistakes.”
EMILY WICK TROPHY
Teams across different sectionals met down at the Coast Guard Academy, but it was Ivy League rival Yale that took home the win while the Crimson finished second-to-last with a 17th place result.
Sailing 420s, Harvard senior Caitlin Watson and sophomore Kristina Jacobson took 14th in the A division. Sophomore Sophie Bermudez, and freshman Julia Lord teamed up for the B division, finishing in 17th place.
Conditions were less than ideal until mid-afternoon on Sunday. The wind was unpredictable, forcing the course to change throughout the day on Saturday and raising the bar for all teams on the water.
4TH MYSTIC LAKE TEAM RACE
The Crimson’s strongest performance of the weekend was the Mystic Lake Team Race, hosted by Tufts. The home-squad Jumbos took first place, finishing with a perfect 18-0 record, while Harvard finished in fifth place with a record of 10-8.
“I think the weekend went very well considering the goals we had at this regatta,” Matthew Mollerus said. “Going into the regatta, we were expecting it to be hard to be consistent given how shifty the Tufts venue can be. We found this to be very true, although we succeeded at adapting to the conditions, forcing us to be very clean with our execution, and we got much better at that as the weekend went on.”
Similar to the Fowle regatta, the freshman believed the team’s greatest weakness on the water was with the starts.
“We often shot ourselves in the foot with subpar beginnings and were fighting from behind for the rest of the race,” Mollerus said.
Fortunately for the Crimson, mental acuity was working in its favor.
“Our strength was our ability to recognize what was the best move at any given time,” Mollerus said. “With the conditions being so unstable, the play changed rapidly and unpredictably, and we won many races because we were able to recognize what had happened before the other team.”
With the close of team racing, the Crimson’s season transitions now to feel racing, where one boat represents each college in match-ups that will bring up to 18 teams together competing in longer races.
“Overall, although we didn’t get the result we worked for, we will continue training hard to get better,” Drumm said. “After a few weeks of regattas we will have the opportunity to qualify for fleet race nationals.”
—Staff writer Tanner Skenderian can be reached at email@example.com.