The Harvard sailing team saw mercurial weather in the past weekend’s four regattas, and emerged with mixed results overall.
The Crimson split four events across the Northeast, with the Harvard Invitational at home, the George Warren Smith Trophy at MIT, the Regis Bowl hosted by Boston University, and the Rogers Trophy at Cornell. Rain and wind played havoc over the course of some of the two-day regattas.
The Harvard Invitational was the sailing team’s second home regatta of the fall. Harvard took fifth place by a wide margin, but came in 16 points short of Brown in fourth. With the finish, the Crimson edged out Bates College and Emmanuel College, amongst others.
At MIT’s regatta, Harvard placed sixth through Saturday’s showers and Sunday’s fair weather. The Smith Trophy is notable for being the only event in college sailing where teams compete in tech dinghies, which have one sail as opposed to two. But the Charles River proved to be more of a factor in the results of this regatta than its unusual boats.
“[On] the Charles River, the wind can be quite shifty and quite random,” junior Andrew Puopolo said. “So it’s pretty important to keep your head out of the boat and [keep] a good attitude.”
Meanwhile, members of the women’s team placed eighth at the Rogers Trophy, hosted by Cornell. Weather conditions at Cayuga Lake, N.Y., were the opposite of those on the Charles: competitors faced clear skies on Saturday, and a sudden, windless chill on Sunday. The Crimson’s finish came off a head-to-head tiebreaker against Northwestern and Tufts, both of which totaled 145 points.
Harvard had an 11th place finish at BU’s women-only Regis Bowl. Both the Crimson and Bowdoin College ended the day with 153 points, with Harvard eventually edging out the Polar Bears in the tiebreaker. Once again, conditions allowed for far less than smooth sailing.
“The wind velocity really varied,” said sophomore Jessica Williams. “With that, there came a lot of wind shifts. And then [on Sunday], on the river, it was just really light and very shifty. So, boat speed was really important.”
The Regis Bowl wasn’t a qualifier and thus didn’t have much bearing on the team’s position for the rest of the season. Nevertheless, the Crimson wasn’t pleased with an 11th place finish in a field of 16 teams.
“We wish we would’ve done a little bit better this weekend,” said Williams. “But they were tough conditions, so we did the best that we could.”
Williams thinks, though, that there are some lessons to be learned from the weekend for all of Harvard’s sailors.
“It was a good weekend to get out on the water and practice some of the things that we’re working on,” she said. “[That] will hopefully help us in later regattas.”
Sailing returns to action next weekend as it travels to Bowdoin for the Barnett trophy and to the University of Rhode Island for the Moody Trophy.
—Staff writer Stuti Telidevara can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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