The co-ed and women’s squads of the Harvard sailing team have enjoyed tremendous success this past spring, both finishing the season ranked in the top ten nationally. As the season quickly winds down, both hope to add one more victory to their already-impressive resumes. in the coming weeks.
The women’s sailing team will compete in its final regatta of the season, the 44th Intercollegiate Sailing Association Women’s National Championship, in Cascade Locks, Ore., May 23-26.
“All of our hard work this season has paid off, knowing that we have a shot at the national title when we go over to Oregon,” junior Alexandra Jumper said. “We’ve raced against some of the best teams in the country over the past season, and hopefully we’ll get to prove that we have what it takes to be number one.”
Despite an inexperienced women’s squad, the team came back from some early-season struggles to finish 10th in the nation behind the leadership of Jumper and junior co-captain Emily Lambert.
“We’ve had some ups and downs as a team over the season, but we fought through all of them,” Lambert said. “With the experience that we’ve gotten this year, we’re going to be even stronger next year. We’re already near the top of the competition, but we’re going to keep going until we’re the best.”
Both Jumper and Lambert were selected to the All-New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association women’s sailing team, a tribute to their consistency and success as a duo, having sailed together in nearly every regatta this season in the A-division for the Crimson. Arguably Jumper and Lambert’s most impressive performance came in their last regatta—the Women’s New England Championship—when the two captured a second-place finish and helped Harvard qualify for nationals. Jumper received first-team honors as a crew while Lambert received first-team accolades as a skipper.
Not to be outdone by their counterparts on the women’s squad, the members of the Crimson’s co-ed sailing team will be making their own trip to Cascade Locks to compete in the 76th ICSA/Gill Dinghy National Championships May 30-June 1.
But in team racing, for the second year in a row, the co-eds failed to qualify for the national championship regatta, falling one spot short of gaining a qualifying bid. The squad finished fourth at the 62nd New England Team Race Championships.
“We were close to having a shot at two national titles this year,” senior Alan Palmer said. “We did qualify for the Dinghy Championships, which we made one of our goals at the beginning of the season, so that’s what we’re going to focus on now instead of thinking about what could have been.”
The co-ed team competing at the Dinghy Championships has been one of the nation’s top-ranked teams all season long, often competing with powerhouses Georgetown and Boston College for the first seed atop the college sailing rankings.
The Crimson even spent several weeks as the number one team in the country.
Harvard ended the spring season ranked No. 3 but did claim the top spot in the Ivy League standings. The team still hopes to climb two spots and claim a national championship at the end of the month.
“We know that we’re one of the best teams out there,” sophomore Alma Lafler said. “But now is the time to show it by taking nationals by storm. We’ve been great all season long but so have other teams. Now we have to step it up and use the time until nationals to get some hardcore practice in so that we can prove to everyone that we deserve to be called the best.”
The co-eds earned 12 finishes in the top four during the regular season, including three first-place finishes and two in back-to-back weeks.
The co-ed squad was anchored all season long by its seniors, five of whom were selected to All-NEISA co-ed teams. Palmer was chosen as a member of the All-NEISA skipper first team, and co-captain Tedd Himler and John Stokes were honored as members of the second team. Classmates Quincy Bock and Meghan Wareham received crew first-team honors.
“This group of six seniors that we have is probably one of the best that we’ve had in a long time here at Harvard,” senior Colin Santangelo said. “We had three heavily recruited skippers competing for our top two spots, and that has taken us to another level competitively and also has kept us in the mix nationally.”
“Some of my best memories here at Harvard have been with my friends from the sailing team,” Palmer added. “We only have a little time left together as a team, so why not make one of our last memories together by winning a national championship?”
—Staff writer Ricky Liu can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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