Busy Sailing Competes in Four Regattas

Meredith H. Keffer

Junior Isabel Ruane, shown above in earlier action, competed on Harvard’s B team at the Stu Nelson Trophy. The Crimson competed in four competitions over the weekend, earning top-10 finishes at the Boston College’s Central Series and the Oberg, which was hosted by Northeastern.

On the weekend that marked the midpoint of its season, the Harvard sailing team competed in four separate tournaments in New England in one of its final tune-ups before the qualifiers for the Atlantic Coast Championships.

The team placed in the top 10 in its two in-conference meets—seventh at the Central Series, held at Boston College, and ninth at the Oberg, hosted by Northeastern.

In its intersectional meets, the Crimson placed 12th at the Sherman Hoyt Trophy, held at Brown, and 10th at the Stu Nelson Trophy, hosted by MIT. Sophomore Richard Biergsund, who sailed at Oberg, said that after the departure of a senior class that included All-American Brendan Kopp ’12, the team has turned to a host of freshmen and sophomores to fill the void.

“We are a very young team this year,” Beirgsund said. “Since we are so young, we’ve had to adapt to a lot of different weather situations and conditions. We are working really hard on consistency and winning more than one race at a time, and that comes from minimizing mistakes out there.”


Sailing in unfamiliar boats and in difficult weather conditions, Harvard finished 10th in the A Division at the Sherman Hoyt trophy and 14th in the B division.

Freshmen Sydney Karnvosky and Gram Slattery teamed up in the A division and won the ninth race of the regatta. The team had four single-digit finishes overall and ended the weekend with a score of 116 points. The Crimson started out with top-10 finishes in five of the first seven races and finished worse than 12th only twice.

“The boats that we sailed with this weekend have a different handling than what we are used to,” Karnovsky explained. “The ones that we practice with are much faster to tack and drive and are more sensitive. The differences are things that you wouldn’t notice looking at the boat from far away, but when you are on the boat you have to adjust.”

Karnovsky echoed Biergsund’s sentiment and said that the team has to work on maintaining its focus throughout all the weekend’s races.

“We have all the ingredients to do well in races and we need to put stuff together every race,” Karnovsky said. “If we have one bad race or two bad races, that really hurts us, and we need to be consistent out there. We want to be consistently in the top half of races and making sure those 10, 11, or 12 finishes are six, seven, and eights instead.”


At the Oberg, the Harvard A team finished in 12th place, ending strong with two top-four results in its last three races. The B team—featuring Bergsund and freshman Jacob Bradt—took 10th in its division and the C team finished in seventh. In adverse weather conditions, the Crimson adjusted to shifting wind and rain.

“This weekend, the wind was really shifty on the water,” Bergsund said. “You had to move really quickly to keep up on the shifts and keep your head out of your boat to watch the wind on the water. The challenge this weekend was changing our plans as the breeze made its way around the course.”


At the Stu Nelson Trophy, the Harvard B team closed the weekend 11th overall, while the A team finished ninth. The A team had six top-five results and won the 14th race of the day. The Crimson started strong and ended up no lower than 11th in its first 10 races and finished in the top five four times in that span.

The B team split time between two groups of racers, with freshman Sophie Bermudez and junior Isabel Ruane teaming up for the first 12 races of the weekend and junior Morgan Watson and classmate Jacquelyn Cooley racing the final six. The team won its ninth race of the weekend and had 10 top-10 finishes overall.


At the Central Series, Harvard finished seventh in both divisions. The Crimson ended up behind both teams from Ancient Eight rival Dartmouth, which finished first and fourth.

Junior Ames Lyman and senior Nicholas Gordon manned the A boat, ending the weekend with five top-10 finishes.Freshman Matthew Clarida and sophomore Deirdre Buckley anchored the B team for Harvard, which finished only 16 points behind sixth-place Tufts.