Three-regatta Weekend Keeps Sailing Team Busy

The No. 17 Harvard sailing team had all hands on deck this weekend and came away from its three regattas with three top-ten finishes. This marks the first consistent, across the board performance from the sailing teams in the spring season.


The 83rd Annual Boston Dinghy Challenge Cup, college sailing’s oldest trophy race, is a highly competitive three-division regatta hosted by No.18 MIT.

The Cup combined a wide variety of boats, including the Engineer’s FJs and fireflies and the Crimson’s FJs, which allowed for 18 races in every division. This regatta debuted MIT’s new docks and new fleet of unique firefly boats, both of which received positive reviews.

“Fireflies are sailed primarily by the British team racer and MIT is the first American college to have a fleet of fireflies and sail them in a regatta–It was a very unique event,” senior Alexandra Jumper said. “We had the chance to practice in them for a couple hours on Friday afternoon, but it’s a pretty steep learning curve.”

In addition to the difficulty of adjusting to new boats, the Charles River did Harvard few favors.

Winds started between six and eight knots from the east on Saturday morning and tapered throughout the day. Sunday, breezes stayed between five to eight knots from the east-northeast.

“The conditions were pretty shifty and fairly light throughout the weekend,” Jumper said. “It was a fairly competitive event and the conditions were fairly challenging.”

The Crimson finished in 10th place of 18 teams. The A and B divisions came in only one point apart at 134 and 135 points, finishing fourth and sixth respectively, and the C division finished with 181 points leaving Harvard with 460 points.

“I think that all of us that went in this weekend came out with lessons learned. During every race we would learn something, and the next race we would go back and apply it,” freshman skipper Michael Drumm said. “It was a learning experience.”


The Owen, Mosbacher and Knapp Trophies two-conference regatta combines three coveted awards and triples the stakes, especially for the Crimson and its Ivy League brethren.

The Mosbacher and Knapp trophies have special relevance to members of the Ancient Eight. Sailing does not hold an official Ivy League Championship and so the Mosbacher trophy acts as a rough equivalent. Independent of that, the Knapp trophy goes to the winner between Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.

The Crimson won the Owen, Mosbacher and Knapp trophies in 2011 with rival Yale, now ranked No. 1 in the country, coming in second. But this year the Bulldogs hosted the regatta right in their backyard at the Branford, Conn. McNay Family Sailing Center. Sailing at its home course, Yale took the titles back from the Crimson. The Bulldogs breezed past all other competition, coming in 25 points ahead of the field.

The races began on a gusty Saturday, with between 10 to 15 knots from the east. The first sets of the A and B division faced waves, but by the final B division race the wind settled to five knots.