Competing in its first team racing events of the nearly completed fall season, the Harvard sailing team finished the weekend with two third-place results the Hap Moore Team Race and the Mike Horn Trophy. After strong performances in last weekend’s fleet racing events, the Crimson continued the trend in the Sister Esther Open as the team claimed the regatta’s top prize.
“The team had a strong weekend down in southern New England,” sophomore skipper Nicholas Karnovsky said. “We won the Sister Esther Open and finished third at the Hap Moore Team Race. We’re thrilled with these results as we head into both the coed and women’s Atlantic Coast Championships next week.”
However, Harvard’s relative inexperience in team race events was on display after having graduated much of its top racers last spring.
“Coming off our best weekend of the season, we had a moderate change of pace by focusing on team racing,” junior crew Kevin Coakley said. “We graduated most of our team racing team so we lost some races that we could have won and our scores this weekend reflected that, but we look at this as a very positive learning experience. Better to make mistakes now than in the spring, when team racing counts.”
SISTER ESTHER OPEN
Fleet racing proved profitable for the Crimson for the second week in a row as it claimed victory in a 59-point performance at this Newport, R.I. race hosted by the Coast Guard Academy. The B-Division crew, anchored by junior skipper Dylan Farrell and senior crew Priscilla Russo, led the charge by posting seven top three-finishes in their eight races. The duo’s worst performance was sixth in the 20-school field of FJ racers.
In the A-Division, sophomores, skipper Nicholas Karnovsky and crew Alejandra Resendiz, also posted similarly strong results. Their 37 points and two individual race victories helped them claim divisional victory, as well. Harvard’s strong results in the event will hopefully pay dividends come spring.
“Fall regatta performance can posture a team for success in the spring,” Coakley said. “Rather than taking this weekend off and resting our top sailors, we are taking this opportunity to make a late push in the Performance Rankings. The foursome of [Karnovsky, Resendiz, Farrell, and Russo] helped lead that charge by winning a regatta that we could easily have not entered in order to give a rest weekend.”
The University of Rhode Island and Coast Guard rounded out the top three with 96 and 100-point performances, respectively.
HAP MOORE TEAM RACE
Racing against six other in-conference squads in New London, Conn., the Crimson sent its veteran group to compete in its first team racing action since last spring. Led by skippers, junior co-captain Nick Sertl, sophomore Nick DiGiovanni, and sophomore Jackson Wagner, Harvard sailed its way to a third-place finish and a 9-9 record.
Harvard failed to take advantage of Saturday’s mild conditions, posting a 5-4 record in the first day of action. But the 8-knot gusts that pervaded throughout the day on Saturday, picked up extensively to 15-20 knot winds on Sunday and crews were forced to adjust their tactical strategies.
“When the breeze picked up on Sunday, we had to make decisions more quickly and mistakes were more costly,” Coakley said. “This gave an advantage to teams with more experience and some of our finishes suffered accordingly. However, it was not a major factor and situational awareness on the part of our teammates helped us get back in the races after a mental error.”
The Boston College Eagles finished victorious by posting a 13-5 record, while Tufts claimed second at 10-8.
MIKE HORN TROPHY
In the first Crimson hosted event in the past month, some of the Harvard’s younger members competed in yet another team race against three local area schools, Tufts, Boston University, and MIT. Racing in FJ’s in a three round-robin format, the Crimson finished third of the four teams in in the event with a 3-6 record.
The slight breeze of 4-8 knots provided little impact on the final outcome, as the team of skippers, sophomore Taylor Gavula, freshman Lucy Wilmot and freshman Jessica Williams, and crew, senior Emma Wheeler, senior Cara Kennedy Cuomo, and sophomore Lena Episalla, were only able to best the Engineers on the weekend. The group’s 3-0 record against MIT provided all of its wins in the round robin format.
When the round robin was completed, the Jumbos came out on top after besting its competitors in each of its nine races, while the Terriers and Engineers placed second and fourth with 5-4 and 1-8 records, respectively. But in the elimination rounds for a chance at the Horn Trophy, roles reversed as MIT beat Harvard 1-2-6 in the Bronze Medal Match, while BU beat Tufts 1-2-6 and 1-3-5 to claim the final victory.
—Staff writer Jackson M. Reynolds can be reached at email@example.com