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Sailing Struggles Across Multiple Competitions

Harvard came into the weekend looking to continue its success after winning the Nicholas Bartlett Trophy last weekend. This weekend, across the table, ended in disappointment as the Crimson was in the back of the pack in three regattas, only salvaging a decent third place performance at the New England Match Race Championship.

NEW ENGLAND MATCH RACE CHAMPIONSHIP

Harvard came into Sunday in the middle of the pack, ranked fourth, with the opportunity to secure a place in the National Championships. Juniors, skipper Taylor Ladd and co-captain and skipper Nick Sertl, along with crew Dylan Farrell, looked to defend the title of this Salve Regina-hosted regatta. The breezy Narragansett Bay winds promised good racing with Ynglings on Sunday.

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The Crimson came into the contest with a large focus on beating its rival, Dartmouth, who Harvard beat last year in a tiebreaking final round sweep, 2-0. Neither team, however, would win. Boston College nabbed the first spot, while the Big Green and the Crimson took second and third, respectively. Harvard finished right outside the qualifying spots and won’t contend for a national championship in San Diego, Calif. later this fall.

TRUXTUN UMSTED

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The Crimson looked for another strong showing this weekend on the Severn River in Annapolis, Md. after the team came in third place last year. Harvard attended one of their largest regattas of the fall with four separate divisions and 20 teams from around the country. The A, B, C, and D divisions sailed FJs, Z420s, Lasers and Laser Radials, respectively in this regatta hosted by Navy.

“This weekend we were racing against a different set of competition than we do in New England,” sophomore skipper Andrew Puopolo said. “Because of that, we definitely learned a lot sailing against a different group. Not necessarily a better group, but a different group.”

Saturday’s racing started late due to the absence of wind. It didn’t get easier from there, as light 2-5 knot wind and a strong current made for difficult racing. Sunday’s conditions were similarly difficult until after lunch recess, when 8-12 knot winds made for a breezy end of the regatta.

“[The wind] was pretty light, very challenging conditions down in Annapolis,” Puopolo said. “Lots of motor boats coming through our course and very patchy winds. It was important to stay in the places with the most pressure, sailing where there was the most wind.”

The Crimson could not find last year’s success, as they finished with over 200 points in three of the four divisions. Harvard’s C division performed strongest with Puopolo racing his laser to 158 points and finishing in the top half of his division. The result did not meet expectations, as Harvard finished 16th overall with 785 points.

YALE WOMEN’S REGATTA

The Crimson women looked to improve from their 17th place finish last year with a better showing in Branford Harbor, Conn. The wind conditions of 5-10 knots, at least, were more favorable than last year’s gusts.

Sailing Z420s and FJs, Harvard looked to take on its Ivy League rivals at the Yale hosted tournament. The Crimson, however, was remarkably consistent. Once again, they finished in 17th, place with 287 points. The A division, consisting of sophomore skipper Taylor Gavula and senior crew Emma Wheeler finished in the middle of the pack with 116 points. In the B division, freshman skipper Jessica Williams and junior crew Kristin Anderson did not do as well, finishing near the back with 171 points.

CAPTAIN HURST BOWL

The regatta hosted by Dartmouth on Lake Mascoma featured three divisions. Harvard, racing Z420s, was looking for better success than last year’s 16th place finish.

The Crimson’s A Division put in a strong effort, placing near the middle of their division. Harvard’s B and C divisions did not do nearly as well, scoring 84 and 111 points respectively. The end result was a 15th place, 263 point finish.

FIREFLY/FJ INVITATIONAL

The Crimson had mixed results in this MIT hosed regatta that saw the A division racing FJs and the B division using Fireflys, but ultimately came out in the middle of the pack after scores were combined. This seven race regatta saw swirling 2-6 knot winds earlier in the weekend, which were harder to sail through than the steadier 8-10 knot winds for the last two races.

Freshman skipper Victoria Marquez and sophomore crew Alejandra Resendiz performed well, tying Bowdoin’s first team for the second lowest points in the A division with a score of 30. The B division sailing tandem of junior skipper Ben Zheng and freshman crew Amalia Frohna ended up with a relatively high score of 82, pushing Harvard out of title contention and into eighth place with 112 points. Bowdoin’s two-team combination, with 64 and 70 points respectively, failed to repeat last year’s one-two finish as host MIT edged out to win the regatta with 57 combined points.

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