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Sailing Competes in Three Regattas

By Manav Khandelwal, Contributing Writer

On a busy weekend for Harvard sailing, six different boats competed across three different regattas on the Charles River. The three regattas delivered contrasting results for the Crimson, highlighted by a third-place finish at MIT.

ERWIN SCHELL TROPHY

Racing in the tournament’s 74th edition, the two Harvard boats combined to propel the Crimson to a third-place finish out of 18 teams with 153 points. This performance earned the pair a berth in this month’s Atlantic Coast Championship.

Co-captains skipper Andrew Mollerus and crew Sydney Karnovsky, both named to the 2015 ICSA All-Academic Sailing Team, represented Harvard in the A Division. Senior skipper Marek Zaleski and junior crew Julia Lord featured in the B Division.

Mollerus and Karnovsky helped the Crimson jump out to a fast start on Saturday. The duo finished no lower than sixth in their first six races, winning the sixth and putting Harvard in the lead by seven points.

Other strong finishers included Boston University, who finished with a regatta best 148 points, and Boston College, who recorded 153 points but edged out the Crimson in the head-to-head tiebreaker, relegating Harvard to third.

A first-place finish by Zaleski and Lord in their second-to-last heat put the Crimson within touching distance of first, but a subsequent 13th-place round allowed the Terriers and Eagles to regain the advantage.

THE VICTORIA URN

Four Harvard women flew the Crimson flag on the Charles in this year’s Victoria Urn, New England’s qualifying race for the Women’s Atlantic Coast Championship. The race hosts came in twelfth with 216 points, just short of making the cut.

Sophomore skipper Taylor Ladd and junior crew Emma Wheeler raced in the A Division, while freshman skipper Taylor Gavula and senior crew Kristina Jakobson sailed in the B Division. The lack of wind on Saturday made racing difficult for the competitors, sailing in Flying Juniors. The group attempted to start a number of races but was only able to finish two.

“It was kind of a bummer,” Gavula said in reference to the race cancellations. “That was frustrating, because we worked really hard to get ready, and it ended up being nothing.”

Despite the rough conditions, Harvard got off to a strong start, sitting in the eighth and final qualifying position after five races. Things began to unravel soon after, however, with both boats stringing together double-digit place finishes.

The disqualification of Ladd and Wheeler’s dinghy in race nine was the nail in the Crimson’s proverbial coffin. While Ladd and Wheeler protested the foul to a panel of judges, they were deemed to have committed the foul and were subsequently DQ’d.

“[Sunday] was pretty tough,” Gavula said. “It was a competitive fleet, but I’m really lucky that I got to sail in this regatta as a freshman. We could have been more consistent, as always, but it was pretty good for my first qualifier.”

NICKERSON TROPHY

Harvard’s youngest sailors also participated in the Nickerson Trophy this weekend, an invite-only freshman regatta hosted by Tufts. The boats combined for a score of 135, putting them eighth out of the twenty schools that competed.

Freshmen skipper Jackson Wagner and crew Divya Arya competed in the A Division while skipper Nick Karnovsky and crew Alejandra Resendiz paired up to feature in the B Division.

Arya and Wagner finished first in their opening heat as Harvard sat third after three rounds. The good results disappeared quickly, however, with Harvard posting four bottom-half races in a row, slipping from third to 10th by round five.

“The wind was pretty light so we had fewer races,” Arya said. “This made the regatta quite challenging, especially competing against talented freshmen. We didn’t do as well as we’d hoped, but learned a lot about college sailing.”

A first-place run by Karnovsky and Resendiz in the second-to-last round helped Harvard make a late push into eighth, capping off an ultimately successful weekend.

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