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In a weekend full of first-place finishes, another team joined in on the fun.
Though it’s certainly early in the season, Harvard’s female sailors are making a case that they are one of the College’s top teams.
The Crimson continued its relatively surprising, early-season onslaught at the St. Mary’s Women’s Intersectional, taking home its second-straight regatta and almost doubtlessly maintaining its No. 1 ranking.
“We weren’t expected to do this well,” said senior crew Caroline Dixon.
Indeed, she said, most observers predicted only top-three finishes for the squad. And it all starts with their depth.
“Last weekend we had [sophomore] Genny Tulloch skippering A and [sophomore] Sloane Devlin skippering B,” Dixon said. “But we had an entirely different team in B this weekend, with Jenny Philbrick skippering with Diana Rodin. They also did extremely well against virtually the same competition. It just shows how deep our team is this year—that we can have completely different people sailing B and still win.”
The surprises began with a windier-than-expected second day said Tulloch, followed by an unexpectedly strong performance from the Tufts ‘B’ boat.
Each Crimson division finished second, but the overall score was good for the top spot.
Tulloch skippered the A division, joined by crews junior Daphne Lyman and senior Caroline Dixon, who split their time on the water.
In B, senior Jenny Philbrick was joined by crew Diana Rodin, whom Dixon called “one of the best crews in the nation.”
And how will they sustain this succces?
“We have to practice hard, stay focused, make the most of our spring break trip (to St. Mary’s),” Dixon said.
“We just have to stay consistent and avoid mistakes, because we’re fast,” said coach Mike O’Connor. “We have to play conservative and make the right choices.”
And, to be sure, they do not want the early success get to go to their team’s heads.
“We don’t want to get overconfident,” Tulloch said.
The Harvard coed sailors have already carved a rather impressive niche as perhaps the best sailing team in the nation. Now all they need is for the weather to cooperate. After New England’s climate only granted them a handful of practices, the weather at Navy didn’t treat them much better.
The Crimson struggled in unusually rough sailing conditions at the Truxtun Umsted Trophy regatta hosted at the U.S. Naval Academy, finishing 10th in a 20-team regatta. The air was so harsh that the second day of competition was cancelled due to unsafe and harmful winds. It came almost as no surprise, then, that St. Mary’s, which had been practicing for about a month longer than had Harvard’s sailors, took home top honors and continued their early-season surge to No. 2. The squad has lifted its slot on the college rankings from 12th a month ago to second.
“We only sailed half a regatta,” said freshman Clay Johnson. “We didn’t have heavy crews. It just wasn’t our conditions. If we had a decent [second] day, we probably could have moved up to about fifth. We just didn’t sail that well. It happens.”
“You want a heavy crew when it’s breezy so you can hold the boat down,” he added. “It was good that we got this out of our system. We know what we have to do in heavy air. In a way, it was a great thing, we know what we have to work on.”
In the A division, senior captain Cardwell Potts skippered with junior David Darst crew to an 11th-place finish. Sophomore Vince Porter skippered the B division to eighth, with sophomore Ruth Schlitz crew for the first three races, and junior Laura Schubert for the final seven. Johnson sailed single-handed to second place in the C division, and senior Clemmie Everett, also single-handed, finished 13th in D. Overall, Harvard finished in 10th place with 334 points.
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