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Sailing Evades Unfavorable Weather to Win Charleston Regatta

At the Charleston Spring Coed Regatta on March 11 and 12, the Crimson sailing team claimed a first place finish by a margin of four points over the second place Georgetown Hoyas.

The field of 18 teams included local rivals MIT, Yale, and Boston University as well as West Coast competitors Stanford University, Santa Barbara City College, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Hawaii.

Heading into the regatta, the organizers and the teams expected a mild breeze but were instead treated to alternating gusts from the north and east for the first few hours of the morning. The resulting delay kept the regatta landed until 1 p.m.

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Once the sailing picked back up, Harvard came out strong. Junior Nick Sertl and Sophomore Christine Gosioco kicked off the Crimson’s weekend in the A-Division race with top-five finishes in eight of the first nine races on the first day.

On Sunday, as the wind picked up and maintained high speeds throughout the day, Sertl and Gosioco paired up with Freshman Jessica Williams and Senior Nomin-Erdene Jagdagdorj. The high winds proved detrimental to the pairs as they finished near the middle of the pack in each of their eight races.

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On Saturday in the B-Division, Sophomore Nick Karnovsky and Senior Julia Lord also had a dominant first day of racing.

In eight of their first nine races, Karnovsky and Lord kept themselves in the top five on the way to helping give the Crimson a two point lead over Georgetown to end the first day of competition.

On Sunday, Karnovsky and Lord battled the high winds alongside the teammates that they were paired with, Junior Kevin Coakley and Jessica Williams. Showing off their ability to perform consistently in all conditions, the team notched four top-fifteen finishes in nine races.

“Wind delay is not uncommon in sailing,” Sophomore Christine Gosioco said. “And Nick and Julia sailed really well once the racing resumed.”

Following such an impressive display, the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association (NEISA) named the B-Division team of Karnovsky, Lord, Coakley and Williams their Sailors of the Week in a press release on their website.

“The B-division team from Harvard won two of the seventeen races and had nearly all top ten finishes,” the NEISA’s press release said. “Their consistency in a wide range of conditions lead Harvard to the overall win.”

They contributed 95 points to Harvard’s total of 175 with the remaining 80 points coming from the A-Division team of Sertl, Gosioco, Jagdagdorj, and Williams.

“We’re happy with the result,” Gosioco said. “Sailing at Charleston was a good experience because it is a different type of venue from what we’re used to. For example, current was a large factor that we had to consider.”

The Geiger Trophy Team Race at MIT was ultimately canceled due to poor racing conditions.

After difficult conditions on day one, the Geiger Regatta was cut short due to “terrible weather” on the second day. Harvard was able to secure a second place finish before the regatta was called early.

“I was a little relieved that we wouldn’t be racing today in conditions that were even colder and even worse than Saturday’s,” Gosioco said. “On the other hand, it’s unfortunate because, combined with the cancellation of the Sharpe Trophy Team Race, we’ve had fewer opportunities compared to previous seasons to race against other schools in a competition setting.”

The nine-team field featured mostly local, in-conference competitors like Northeastern, Boston University, University of Rhode Island, Yale, Tufts, and host MIT.

Last season, the Crimson finished in the middle of the pack at the Geiger Regatta. In an eight team field, Harvard placed fifth. Two years ago, the Geiger Regatta suffered a similar fate to this year’s event, as it was canceled after the Boston region received record amounts of snowfall late in winter.

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