Harvard Finds Mixed Results in Tuneups

Less than two weeks of preparation separate the No. 4 Harvard co-ed sailing team from the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association (NEISA) Championship, the final major tune-up before nationals later in May.

But for the No. 10 women’s squad and many of the freshmen, the NEISA Championship comes a week early.

That was the mindset fueling the Crimson sailing teams over the weekend at five different events, as Harvard came away with the realization that there is still work to do before the big events in coming weeks.


The Crimson came away from a deep 18-team field in Kings Point, N.Y., with a third-place finish at the Admiral’s Cup, one of the season’s biggest regattas. The junior duo of skipper Clay Johnson and crew Emily Simon took seventh in A-division, while Kyle Kovacs sailed to a fifth-place finish in the singlehanded C-division. However, it was a third-place finish in the B-division that helped pace Harvard. Senior skipper Vincent Porter was joined by senior crew Ruth Schlitz and freshman Megan Watson in what was the Crimson’s strongest boat at the event.

“We sailed alright, but it was kind of a disappointment for us,” Porter said. “The conditions were up and down. Everyone was a little inconsistent.”

That inconsistency wasn’t terribly crippling for a Harvard squad that only finished behind Hobart and William Smith Colleges and St. Mary’s, who earned first and second place, respectively.

Still, this late in the season, the team expects results near the top.

“We didn’t sail as well as we’d like to but it’s sort of good to come to terms with where you stand before nationals,” Porter said. “Now we know how hard we have to work.”


The weekend’s best performance came on Saturday, when the Crimson sent two boats to compete in the Metro Series 4 at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. Although the team at the regatta was young—the four sailors included two freshmen and no seniors—experience in the Metro Series played a part, as Harvard took first place out of twelve teams, its lone top finish of the weekend.

The A-division was topped by the Crimson in a boat skippered by freshman Jon Garrity and crewed by junior Ashley Nathanson. Junior skipper Robby McIntosh and freshman crew Margaret Wang’s fourth-place finish in B-division was easily enough to allow Harvard to come away with the victory.


Garrity and Wang returned to action Sunday for the Oberg Trophy in Cambridge, where the team struggled in an 11-team field, taking tenth overall. The two guided the A-division to a fifth-place finish, but trouble came in the B-division, when junior skipper Marion Guillaume and freshman Kerry Anne Bradford finished last.


The lone women’s regatta of the weekend featured some shuffling in the boats on the second day of the two-day event in Providence, R.I. The waters calmed with the Crimson taking eighth place overall, beating out half the field at the Dellenbaugh Trophy, the season’s final big women’s regatta before the NEISA Women’s Championship.

Because of what lies ahead next week, Harvard got some last-minute experience in by sailing seven women in just two boats. Senior skipper Sloan Devlin was joined by junior captain Christian Dahlman and junior Cassandra Niemi in the crew positions in a sixth-place A-division finish, while freshmen Roberta Steele and Christina Cordeiro, senior Jessica Baker and Dahlman all split time in B-division, where the Crimson finished tenth.

“That’s always hard to have to have to adjust to different people,” Dahlman said. “I think it was a difficult weekend for us.”

Making things more difficult were the very breezy conditions, especially on Sunday.

“They were challenging conditions for us,” Dahlman said. “But it was good practice, and those are the kind of boats and conditions we’ll see at nationals.”


The host Terriers defended their home waters with a first-place finish at the BU Trophy, a regatta which saw Harvard finish in fifth place. Junior skipper Matthew Knowles and senior crew Mallory Greimann were the lead boat, along with a second boat featuring Nathanson, freshman Andrew Flynn and sophomore Elyse Dolbec.

—Staff writer Malcom A. Glenn can be reached at