Harvard's best kept secret keeps rolling along. Few people may know, but the Harvard sailing teams are putting together great seasons.
This past weekend, the co-ed team finished fifth in the seventeen school Admiral's Cup held at the Merchant marine Academy in New York. Tufts, St. Mary's, Old Dominion and the Coast Guard academy rounded out the top five.
"I thought we did fairly well considering the difficult and unpredictable conditions," junior Commodore Chuck Chai said.
At a typical regatta, each team is split into an "A" and "B" division. Within both divisions, all the schools race against one another in a series of races.
The number of races depends on the size of the competing field. Since the host school supplies all the boats, to guarantee fairness, the teams change boats after every race until all the teams have sailed each boat.
This weekend, however, due to the rough conditions, only ten races (instead of seventeen) were held.
"The winds were really howling out there," said Chai.
Mother Nature's nasty disposition may have effected the Crimson's performance. Nonetheless they came away with what they wanted.
"We were kind of hoping for a better finish," junior captain Nick DuBois said.
"Yet, in two weeks is the national qualifying competition. To qualify, you need to be one of the four best in New England, and this weekend we were third among New England Schools, So we're happy about that."
Leading the way for the co-ed team, which is currently ranked 11th in the nation, racing in the "A" division, were sophomores Bret Davis, and Rachel Garfield, and Chai.
Normally, only two sailers compete in each division. However, with the winds "howling" the Crimson needed a heavier crew. On such occasions, Chai replaces Garfield.
Davis has been the Crimson's star all season. This past fall, out in Seattle, Davis placed second in the National Championships in the Laser division.
Rounding out the co-ed squad were Dubois and freshman Katy Hartwell in the "B" division and junior Will Sterns in the laser competition.
The women's squad also finished fifth this weekend at Brown University.
The Crimson was led by senior Julie Caldwell and sophomore Alexis Topjian, who took first in the "B" division.
Racing in the "A" division were seniors Jen Drohan and Michelle Morphew.
Up next for the women's squad is the national qualifying regatta. and the way they are sailing, they might get a shot at the brass ring.