This past weekend, Harvard sailing competed in two regattas, the Navy Women Spring Regatta and the St. Mary’s Team Race. The Crimson took home 18th at Navy and 7th at St. Mary’s.
ST. MARY’S TEAM RACE
No. 9 Harvard’s coed squad opened its spring season in Maryland, finishing the weekend with a 3-6 record, good enough to place seventh of 10 teams. With a tough Massachusetts winter behind it, the team was ready to kick-start its season in warmer climates.
“We went into this weekend with the mindset of jump starting our spring season and getting team racing experience against top-level competition,” freshman crew Kevin Coakley said.
And the Crimson certainly did face top-level competition. The top-four finishers were No. 1 Yale, No. 3 Boston College, No. 4 College of Charleston, and No. 2 Georgetown, in that order. In fact, every team entered in the regatta was ranked coming into the season.
The weather provided another challenge. While Saturday’s conditions were manageable—three-seven knot winds and fog—Sunday brought high winds causing races to be altered and adjustments to be made.
During the second round-robin rotation, the winds became too much and the race had to be put on hold. In addition, FJ’s were eliminated, and the races continued in 420’s only. The Crimson also changed its skipper/crew pairings a bit. The tough weather conditions gave the team a nod to what it needs to improve on.
“The wind conditions on Sunday exposed that we need more practice with heavy air team racing and boat handling,” Coakley said.
The Crimson brought three skippers and four crew to the regatta. Most of the races saw the following pairings: senior skipper Brian Drumm and junior crew Jacob Brandt, senior skipper Michael Drumm and Coakley, and junior skipper Andrew Mollerus and junior crew Syndey Karnovsky. Sophomore crew Julia Lord stepped in for Coakley in the race against SUNY Maritime.
Another facet that added difficulty to this opening regatta was the lack of practice Harvard had been able to do leading up to this weekend.
“Our greatest difficulty was competing given our limited practice time this spring,” Coakley said. “Some teams from further south have been practicing for several weeks now and others were coming off spring break training trips, which showed in their racing.”
And now, with this tune-up under its belt, the Crimson is ready to take on its spring season.
NAVY WOMEN’S SPRING REGATTA
The women’s squad traveled to another Maryland college to take 18th in a pool of 20 teams. At this regatta, the competitors took part in fleet style racing—as opposed to the team style carried out at St. Mary’s.
The unranked Crimson again found itself amongst difficult opponents, including No. 1 Yale and No. 4 Navy. At the end of the weekend, its combined score of 126 put Harvard ahead of Hobart and William Smith and Columbia.
“We didn’t do as well as we hoped,” freshman Taylor Ladd said. “But this regatta for us was more about time on the water than anything else.”
In the A division, junior Sophie Bermudez and senior Ashleigh Inglis finished at 16th with 68 points, ahead of No. 3 Georgetown and No. 7 Coast Guard. The B division pair of Ladd and junior Kristina Jakobson took 16th place as well.
This regatta also saw weather difficulties. On Saturday, the races were postponed for lack of wind, and they commenced in the afternoon when the wind picked up to a meager four knots. Sunday, on the other hand, saw gusts into the upper 20s which did not cease for the rest of the day. The races were called at 12:30p.m., leaving another day of frustrating conditions.
“It was a good learning experience,” Ladd said. “And it got us back on the water.”
—Staff writer Isabel DeLaura can be reached at email@example.com.
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