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Harvard Sailing Team Faces Rough Weather Conditions in Four Weekend Regattas

By Leena Ambady, Contributing Writer

The Harvard sailing team was kept busy this weekend with four different regattas across New England. The team hosted the Central Series III, as well as sent sailors to the Lynne Marchiando Trophy Team Race hosted by MIT, the Dellenbaugh Women’s Trophy hosted by Brown, and the BU Trophy.

The Crimson struggled in the rough weather conditions on Saturday. The team ultimately finished in the bottom half of the teams in all their regattas.

“I think we all knew we didn't perform our best this weekend,” freshman Jessica Williams said. “But we're taking it as a learning opportunity and a chance to pinpoint our weaknesses before the [NEISA] qualifiers.”


Harvard claimed tenth place out of the 16 teams racing in Fireflies and FJs on the Charles River at the Lynne Marchiando Regatta, going 9-5 in its Round Robin match ups. Dartmouth placed first, losing only two of its 12 match ups, for an 85.7 percent winning percentage. Yale University and Boston College came in 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

Racing started late on Saturday due to turbulent weather conditions, including wind, snow, rain, and, at times, hail. Three Harvard pairs braved the conditions: junior Kevin Coakley and sophomore Nick Karnovsky, junior Nick Sertl and senior Nomin Jagdagdorj, and sophomore Nick DiGiovanni and senior Priscilla Russo.

The teams started off strong, going 6-1 in the first round of the Round Robin, with the only loss coming at the hands of hosts MIT.

The second round presented more of a challenge for the Crimson, as it went 3-4, despite defeating Brown, Rhode Island, and Boston University.


After finishing 14th out of 18 teams at the Central Series II on March 25, Harvard came up with an eleventh place finish out of 16 teams competing in FJs on the Charles River. Races on Saturday were cancelled because of strong winds and cold temperatures, but conditions on Sunday made for a good afternoon of sailing, with lots of sun and a shifty N/NE breeze that dwindled by the end of the day.

In the A division, freshmen Sofia Mascia and Amalia Frohna held their own, finishing toward the middle of the pack in five of their six races, in addition to a third place finish in the last race for a total of 54 points and 10th place in the division. Sunday was Frohna’s third regatta in her sailing career, as she walked onto the sailing team in the fall.

“We had a really good weekend of development and getting used to racing together,” Mascia said. “We’re looking to race together in the future.”

Mascia and Frohna’s counterparts in the B division were junior Ben Zheng and freshman Juan Crestanello, who split time at skipper, with freshman Tancredi Castellano-Pucci at crew. The sailors finished 11th out of the 16 teams, failing to place in the top eight in all but the first of their six races, where they came in 6th.

Together, the two pairs collected a total of 116 points.

“Amalia and I are looking to improve on our starts and getting around the course more easily so that we can think more about tactics instead of boat handling” Mascia said. “I think the same goes for the sailors in Division B.”

The Central Series III was dominated by Boston College, whose A and B division teams combined for 45 points and nine first place finishes in twelve races.


Roughing rainy, bitterly cold conditions, including winds of up to 25 knots on Saturday, the Crimson managed to finish 12th out of the 18 teams competing at Edgewood Yacht Club in Providence for the Dellenbaugh Women’s Trophy.

The brutal weather forced racing to end early on Saturday, but teams were still able to get in a few races before continuing on Sunday, in much warmer and sunnier conditions. Sailing in Z420s, the two Crimson pairs combined for a score of 169 points, markedly behind the top score of 46 points from the hosts, Brown.

“In conditions like that where it's freezing cold and large gusts and it becomes hard to stay in control of the boat, it's easy to slip into a ‘survival mode,’” Williams said. “Everyone else on the course has to deal with the same conditions, so we just had to make the best of it.”

Williams and sophomore skipper Taylor Gavula battled the conditions in the first five races in the B division, after which senior Emma Wheeler took Williams’ place as crew for the remainder of the day. The Crimson placed 10th with 79 points and two top five finishes.

The A division team of juniors Taylor Ladd and Kristin Anderson finished in 11th place with 90 points after a mixed performance. The duo won one of their eight races outright, but did not finish their third race.


The Crimson’s best result of the weekend came at the BU Trophy, where it placed eighth out of the thirteen teams competing in the in-conference regatta. Tufts University came away with first place, with an especially dominant performance in the B division, where its pair of sailors finished in the top five in each of their six races.

Harvard, on the other hand, only had one top five finish in the B division, as the pair of freshman Catherine Kerner and sophomore Catherine Tang finished toward the bottom of pack in five of their six races for a total of 55 points. To put this in perspective, the Tufts A and B division teams scored a cumulative total 54 points to win the regatta.

The Crimson’s other duo of freshman Lucy Wilmot and sophomore Alejandra Resendiz fared much better, earning third place in a close A division competition. After crossing the finish line last in their first race, the pair bounced back to win the second race outright. They notched eighth, fourth, and eighth place finishes again in their next three races, then ended the day strong on a strong note with another first place finish.

The success of the A division pair could be attributed to the team’s hard work over Spring Break. “We’ve seen a lot of improvement since our Spring Break training trip [to California],” Mascia explained.

Over break, the Crimson sailed in the San Francisco Bay Area, at times even practicing with the Stanford University Sailing Team.

Wilmot and Resendiz’ 35 points, combined with the 55 from Kerner and Tang brought the Crimson to a total of 90 points and eighth place, a step up from last year when the team finished 9th in the same regatta.

—Contributing writer Leena Ambady can be reached at

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