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Sailing Rules Home Waters

By Samuel C. Scott, Contributing Writer

As Harvard sails into the end of the fall season, the team has but to hold its course.

With the Atlantic Coast Championships only a week away, the Crimson used one last opportunity to squeeze in a little practice—and pick up a little more momentum—this weekend, winning the Michael Horn Trophy regatta at home.

Sailing 10 races over two breezy days on the Charles River, Harvard edged out Boston College 134-142 to finish first among 10 teams.

“It was really close with BC,” sophomore Clay Johnson said, “but right at the end when it’s really close and you need to be great, our team really was.”

The win allowed the Crimson to advance from fifth to fourth in the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association rankings. The top four teams receive preferential bracketing to determine which regattas they will sail next year.

“Our goal as a team was to win this regatta so we could move up in the New England rankings,” junior Sloan Devlin said. “As a team, we succeeded in doing that, barely.”

In the A-division, Devlin skippered and sophomore Christina Dahlman crewed for the first six races, winning the second before posting sixth-place finishes in the fourth and fifth.

“I don’t think I sailed as well this weekend as I wanted to,” Devlin said.

“It’s a combination of being a little light and not having the experience in Larks this season. We were smaller than some of the other teams, even though it was a women’s division—the Coast Guard girls who won [the A-division] were definitely 300 pounds together, which we weren’t.”

Seniors Genny Tulloch and captain Laura Schubert relieved Devlin and Dahlman, winning two of the final four races to close the regatta.

Skippered by junior Jessica Baker and crewed by senior Jenny Wong, the Crimson’s B-division struggled early in the regatta, finishing better than seventh just once in their first seven races. Before the seventh race, however, captain Daphne Lyman substituted in to crew, and the duo rallied to post top-three finishes in the final three races and claim a sixth-place finish.

It was in the C- and D-divisions, however, that Harvard dominated the regatta.

Johnson skippered the C-division, with sophomore Sam Fink crewing. The two struck early and won often, finishing first in the regatta’s leadoff race and winning races four through eight consecutively to win the division.

“You don’t go out there to win five races in a row,” said Johnson, who added that his familiarity with the Charles River impressed on him the need for careful and consistent sailing.

“Some of the other teams sailed a little more riskily...I was very conservative, and my crew, Sam Fink, did a great job.”

Skippered by freshman Kyle Kovacs with sophomore Emily Simon at crew, the D-division sailed with equivalent dominance over its competition. The two won the division and seven of their races, including four consecutively on Saturday.

The competition over the weekend was intense at the top but not necessarily throughout the entire field, as some top teams took the weekend off in preparation for next weekend’s championships.

“This wasn’t a super-competitive regatta,” Schubert said. “BC and Coast Guard, who are actually pretty far up there [in intercollegiate rankings] did actually send pretty good teams.”

The upcoming championships will conclude Harvard’s racing until the spring. The women will sail in Charleston, S.C., while the co-ed contingent will sail at MIT. The regatta will likely be one of, if not the, most competitive of the fall.

“Basically, we’re trying to get through the end of the season,” Devlin said. “We’re looking to end the season well.”

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