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The driving force behind the Harvard coed sailors’ first-place finish at the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) this weekend wasn’t a strong wind. In fact, nonexistent breezes after noon yesterday forced the cancellation of ten races.
Sure, smart maneuvering and good starts helped, but senior Cardwell Potts said listening to ESPN’s Jock Jams early in the morning motivated the team to a second-straight first-place finish.
“It worked this week,” Potts said. “So we’re going to keep doing it.”
On the water, the team made a little music of its own, topping a regatta of 19 teams hosted at Kings Point, N.Y.
The conditions were light throughout the weekend, with the sporadic breeze also posing a problem on Saturday, when it didn’t appear until one in the afternoon.
In the A division, Potts won six of 10 races while sailing a Vanguard 15, a boat only the USMMA uses among schools with sailing programs. According to Potts, the Harvard boathouse has only one such boat, but he didn’t see that as a significant problem.
“It’s not much of an adjustment,” Potts said.
In the B division, Vince Porter won one of 10 races in a Flying Junior.
“Vince didn’t start out very well,” Potts said. “But overall he sailed well. He had good speed and he was smart.”
In the C division, freshman Clay Johnson won two of 10 races sailing a Laser.
Potts said the sailing was better this week than it was in last week’s win at the Captain Hurst Bowl at Dartmouth.
The Crimson finished with 124 points, with Navy in second with a tally of 175.
In other coed action, senior Clemmie Everett and sophomore Genny Tulloch skippered the Crimson to a sixth-place finish at MIT.
“Yesterday, we had a hard time getting off the starting line, having good pieces and parts of races,” Everett said. “But we never really had a solid race from start to finish.”
The adjustment to MIT’s Technical Dinghy boats proved a bit difficult.
“They’re hard,” Everett said, “especially because there is only one sail. I was having a hard time getting off the starting line, adjusting to the size of the boat.”
A light, unpredictable wind blew through Saturday’s 10 races, while yesterday’s nine featured a “little more solid [wind]—a sea breeze,” according to Everett.
In women’s action, Jennie Philbrick and sophomore Sloan Devlin skippered the Crimson to a third-place finish among 18 squads at Dartmouth College’s Mrs. Hurst Bowl.
“We had some trouble at the starting line,” A-team skipper Philbrick said. “But then we got it going.”
Conditions were relatively mild, with sunny, 75-degree temperatures and winds ranging from 3-12 mph. The team sailed two fleets of Flying Juniors.
“It was a good test of our skills,” Philbrick said. “This is really the first big women’s regatta of the year, so everyone’s getting their kinks out.”
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