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Perdomo Places Second at ICSA Men’s Singlehanded National Championship

By Phillip Yu, Contributing Writer

The Harvard sailing team competed in three different regattas this weekend, highlighted by a second place finish at the ICSA Men’s Singlehanded National Championship from Crimson junior Juan Carlos Perdomo.

ICSA Singlehanded National Championship

With his silver medal finish, Perdomo became the highest placing member of the Harvard team at nationals since he finished in second at the same event during his freshman year.

Perdomo is the only male from Harvard in more than half a decade to even compete in nationals, and his two second place finishes mark him as one of the most successful singlehanded sailors in recent Crimson history.

“I’m pretty satisfied with how I did at nationals,” Perdomo said. “I obviously didn’t get first in the end, but I think I’m going to work on making fewer mistakes, and hopefully that’ll make me a better sailor in the coming years.”

First place went to sophomore Malcolm Lamphere of Yale, who defeated Perdomo by three points. Perdomo placed first in four out of the ten races—the most out of anyone on the field—but was limited by a 13th place finish in his first race.

Day one of the championships was marked by inconsistent weather and consistent penalties. Despite the optimistic forecast, the lack of wind ensured that only three races—which garnered five yellow cards—were conducted. The weather during day two, when the majority of the races were conducted, was markedly better, with winds ranging from 6-15 knots.

While Perdomo has his sights set on winning nationals next year, he is also looking towards even bigger goals.

“Next college season, I hope to win nationals and do one better,” Perdomo said. “But my big goal for next season is qualifying for the Olympics next summer.”

On the women’s side, Harvard sophomore Taylor Ladd finished 13th out of 18 competitors. Ladd was the first Crimson competitor at the event since 2009.

Ladd performed well in day one of competition -- placing second in one of the three races. However, she struggled a bit in day two, with her highest finish coming in eighth on the last race of the meet.

Hap Moore Team Race

Harvard finished ninth out of 12 teams at the Hap Moore Team Race, hosted by the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. The Crimson sent freshmen Nick DiGiovanni and Jackson Wagner and sophomore Nick Sertl as skippers, and juniors Priscilla Russo, Nomin-Erdene Jagdagdorj, and Olivia Kjorlien as crew.

Harvard went 8-8 in the round-robin, winning its last three races of the competition, on a weekend that featured unpredictable weather and dramatic wind shifts. Brown, who went 12-4, won the meet.

The Mike Horn Trophy

The Mike Horn regatta, hosted by Harvard, was marked by blustery weather—unusual for this time of year—with winds between seven and 15 knots and comfortable mid-60s temperatures. The strong breeze throughout the day presented some issues for the Crimson sailors, who were unaccustomed to such strong wind.

“We had been practicing in light breeze, not the heavy breeze where everyone’s fast,” Gavula said. “In the light wind, you’re fast only if you’re good at your maneuvers. We hadn’t had much experience in heavy breeze, so it was a little hard.”

Harvard sent sophomore Dylan Farrell, freshmen Taylor Gavula, and freshman Andrew Puopolo as skippers, and junior Emma Wheeler, freshman Christine Gosioco, and freshman Catherine Tang as crew.

The round-robin format, which is traditionally raced in the spring, was largely unfamiliar to the young Harvard team. The Crimson finished fifth out of six teams with a 3-7 record.

“It was a different type of sailing that I’d been doing all season, and we all really hadn’t had that much experience with it, so we didn’t do too great,” Gavula said. “But I saw the positive correlation between me attempting to do some moves that I hadn’t tried before and a better race outcome, so I think we learned a lot.”

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