Sailing Occupied With Five Regattas

As the semester nears its final weeks, the workload is beginning to pile up for many Harvard students, and for the Crimson sailing team, life is no different. The squad competed in the busiest weekend of its spring campaign, with five regattas held at various campuses around New England.

The highlight of the weekend for the Crimson was the co-ed team’s sixth-place effort at the New England Dinghy Championships held at Connecticut College.

“Our goal was to sail consistently and conservatively this weekend,” junior skipper Alan Palmer said, “and we were able to do that by not taking too big of risks, helping to ensure all of the little things that could happen out on the water didn’t greatly affect our finish.”

The women’s team sent its top sailors to the Women’s Wick & Shrew Trophies at the US Coast Guard Academy, where the contingent came away with a sixth-place finish. The co-ed squad also had competitors race at the 71st Oberg Trophy hosted by Boston University, where Harvard placed ninth, and the Brandeis Invitational and 46th Gibb Trophy race, both hosted by Tufts.

“We were excited about our results,” said women’s team member Liz Powers. “We competed against most of the top women sailors in the country this weekend and performed well.”


The Crimson entered the New England Dinghy Championships this past weekend needing to place eighth or better as a team in order to advance to the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association National Semifinals held later this spring. Therefore, that was their primary goal heading into the competition among an 18-team field at Connecticut College, and Harvard met this goal with a sixth-place effort.

“All we wanted to do entering the weekend was to place in the top eight and ensure ourselves a place in the national semifinals,” Palmer said. “However, even though we were able to do that, the weekend was a bit disappointing, as we were in third place after the first day and struggled a bit during the second half of day two on Sunday.”

The second-day struggles were most prominent in the A division for the Crimson, as Palmer and junior crew Meghan Wareham closed out the weekend with four of their worst five performances out of the 17 total races over two days and ended up tied for fifth in their division.

“Our starts kind of fell apart on Sunday,” Palmer said, “and we need to work on refining our fundamentals in boat speed and boat handling the rest of the season.”

Fellow juniors, skipper John Stokes and Quincy Bock, teamed up to finish seventh in the B division in somewhat challenging conditions.

“The winds were pretty shifty out there,” Palmer said, “which was good for us as we practice in that type of wind all the time. There was also a current, which made the course tough to direct at times.”

With the sixth-place effort this weekend, Harvard will head to Seattle on May 1-2 for the National Semifinals.

“We are happy we qualified and will be looking to finish among the top nine at the Semis in order to qualify for Nationals,” Palmer said.