On recently-thawed and snow-covered Charles waters this week, the Crimson women’s sailing team’s thermometers read in the thirties. But this weekend in Annapolis, Md., its national ranking will still read three—reminding people that talent does not freeze.
The majority of the teams at Navy’s Women’s Intersectional have been sailing for weeks, however.
“It’s gonna be hard for us, because we’ve only practiced a few times,” said junior Jenny Philbrick.
Moreover, much of the competition has been racing since January, especially the Mid-Atlantic teams, which comprise the majority of the regatta’s teams this weekend.
But while coming from Harvard may be a climactic disadvantage, it’s very much a competitive advantage. The Crimson has one of the nation’s deepest and most talented teams, boasting five participants in last fall’s National Championships..
“[Depth] is something that we have not had up until the sophomore class came in,” said Harvard coach Mike O’Connor. “We got two excellent skippers up to top varsity level right away. We went from having one top varsity level skipper to four. It’s really helped across the board.”
O’Connor also said its depth gives the team the advantage of letting women’s sailors compete in co-ed regattas.
“It makes them them that much better,” he said.
Sophomore Genny Tulloch is one of two sailors, along with classmate Sloane Devlin, who give the Crimson the extra advantage of having competed at Annapolis before.
“We’ve sailed at Navy before,” Tulloch said. “That’s a big advantage. We both like sailing in Annapolis. I hope we’ll both be good at Navy.”
Tulloch is the only sailor heading South who has already competed this spring, having participated in the Harvard co-eds’ second-place finish at the Brown Team Racing Invitational last weekend.
But unlike the co-eds, the women’s spring schedule is dominated by fleet racing, including this weekend’s regatta.
Even early on in the season, Tulloch said she has few teams on her mind.
“Right now, I’m particularly concerned with Old Dominion,” Tulloch said. “There’s a girl on their team [Anna Tunniclife] who is in the running for national college sailor of the year. Beating her is always good.”
Tulloch—also up for sailing’s top individual honor—also said the team is watching Tufts and Dartmouth. As of Sailing World’s most recent college rankings, Tufts holds the No. 4 slot—one behind the Crimson—and Dartmouth comes in at No. 2 Old Domnion is currently ranked seventh.
It’s also a big race for freshman crew Christina Dahlman.
“I’ve never traveled this far for a regatta before,” Dahlman said. “I’ve also never competed with Sloane before, so I want to do well by her.”
Tulloch will skipper with junior crew Daphne Lyman in the A division. And in the B division, Devlin will skipper with crew Dahlman, joined by Clemmie Everett as extra skipper and heavy crew.