Sailing Competes At Friis Trophy Team Race and the NEISA-MAISA Team Race

This weekend, the Harvard sailing team took on yet another snowstorm, sending contingents to the Friis Trophy Team Race and the NEISA-MAISA Team Race. At the end of the weekend, the Crimson added a second and sixth place finish to its records.

This marked the second consecutive weekend that the Crimson has placed second in one of the regattas. These second place finishes mark the highest placement of a Harvard team this spring season.


The Friis Trophy event was originally meant to be hosted at Harvard, but it had to be relocated due to weather. Instead, sailors traveled to Roger Williams, where they raced in FJs and 420s. 

The teams also saw difficult weather throughout the whole weekend. Saturday brought wind, rain, and snow, with temperatures dropping into the 20s.


“We had to adjust to different weather conditions throughout the weekend, including heavy wind on Saturday and light wind with choppy water on Sunday,” freshman crew Kevin Coakley said. “We relied on experience and adjusted with the conditions.”

And this experience certainly seemed to show, as the No. 9 Crimson finished the weekend with a 9-5 record, coming in second only to No. 1 Yale.

The pool of competitors only contained ranked teams, including No. 3 Boston College and No. 10 Stanford. In addition, Harvard swept three races, with its boats finishing 1-2-3 against St. Mary’s, No. 5 Tufts, and No. 6 Dartmouth.

Three skipper-crew pairs competed in a majority of the regatta’s races. Senior skipper Brian Drumm paired with junior crew Jacob Brandt, senior skipped Michael Drumm raced with Coakley, and senior skipper Gram Slattery competed alongside sophomore crew Julia Lord.

With weather changes, the pairs were shuffled around, and the duo of juniors Marek Zaleski and Sydney Karnovsky saw some action on the water.

Many of the same Harvard sailors had also competed the weekend before, traveling for two weekends straight. The team is currently priming a contingent to compete in the New England Championships in two weeks, and these regattas are the perfect opportunity to prepare. 

“[The many regattas are] a large time commitment, but we all want to perform well at the New England Championships, so everyone makes sailing a priority,” Coakley said. “We get our work done during the week and ensure that we are prepared for all-day regattas on the weekend.” 


Another group of Crimson sailors made the trek to Boston College, where they finished sixth. The race hosted teams from the North East and Middle Atlantic conferences. They sailed in 420s in team style racing.

“We actually sailed better than the results would suggest,” skipper Dylan Farrell said. “We were very close to winning at least four races. We were in a winning combination in the later stages of the race but couldn't execute well enough to maintain the lead and get the win.”

Harvard again saw fierce competition and fiercer weather at the regatta, sailing against ranked teams BC, No. 7 Fordham, and No. 8 Roger Williams.

Conditions did not prove helpful either. Saturday saw heavy gusts and snow. The races were called short due to 20-knot winds and low visibility. Sunday brought its own challenges as well: light, inconsistent wind.

“The regatta was a good opportunity to work on heavy-air boat handling the first day and light-air boat handling the second day,” Farrell said. “We also got a lot of experience applying team racing principles in challenging conditions.”

At this regatta, the same duos competed in every race. Freshman skipper Nick Sertl raced with sophomore crew Nomin-Erdene Jagdagdorj. Farrell was joined by sophomore crew Olivia Kjorlien, and the duo of freshman skipper Taylor Ladd and junior crew Kristina Jakobson competed as well.

—Staff writer Isabel DeLaura can be reached at


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