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Sailing Faces Mixed Weather in Three Weekend Regattas

Water, Water, Everywhere
Sailors navigate the Charles in action last April.

UPDATED: September 26, 2017 at 7:31 p.m.

From strong winds and currents on Saturday to clear skies on Sunday, the Crimson teams competed in a medley of weather conditions this past weekend. The mixed forecast translated to mixed results.

The Harvard sailing teams competed in the NEISA Singlehanded Championships, Amanda Trophy, and the Hood Trophy, with the women’s team winning the B Division over the course of the whole regatta. The NEISA Singlehanded Championships and the Amanda Trophy were both held at Roger Williams University, while the Hood Trophy took place at Tufts.

The team battled strong currents and winds of 10 to 13 knots on Saturday but enjoyed milder weather on Sunday. One Crimson sailor who benefitted from the light weather conditions on Sunday was Jessica Williams, who finished in twelfth place with 122 points in the A Division of the NEISA single-handed championship.

“I actually did better [on Sunday] than [Saturday], Williams said. “It was light wind if you just kept track of the current. Then it was easy to do well.”

At the Amanda Trophy, Lucy Wilmot and Alejandra Resendiz cruised towards victory with 18 points in the B-Division, leading the women’s team to an overall third place in the regatta and an impressive win over MIT, the University of Rhode Island, and Brown by two points each.

The success of the Crimson women’s sailing team is especially impressive considering some challenges that the team has faced over the past months.

“We lost one of our top women’s laser sailors this year, so that was a little bit hard,” Williams said. “We did the best we could this semester—we don’t really have a lot of time to train. But it was pretty good considering that we have not sailed lasers for that long this semester.”

At the 35th Professor Stedman Hood Trophy, the co-ed teams of Taylor Ladd and Kirstin Anderson competed in the A division along with Nick DiGiovanni, Nicholas Karnovsky, and Catherine Tang in the B division. At last year’s interconference regatta, the Harvard sailing team competed against 18 other teams and placed sixth overall. This year, the Crimson team saw improvements with fifth-place overall finish.

Members of the Crimson men’s team also found success this weekend, with junior Jackson Wagner winning race nine of the NEISA Singlehanded Championships and placing fifth in race eight, along with team members Andrew Puopolo and Jonas Nelle, who placed third and fourth respectively in the race. This regatta was a marked improvement for Poupolo, who finished eighth overall this year, compared to 14th and 13th his freshman and sophomore years.

Yet, as with the women’s team, the men’s team had to adjust to the challenges of the mixed weather throughout the weekend.

“This weekend, there were two competing weather patterns. One side of the port had a lot less current than the other side of the port,” Puopolo said. “And with some of the races, there was a lot more wind on the other side, so it was quite challenging.”

For both teams, NEISA marks the end of laser sailing races for the season. The Crimson team now will prepare for the Atlantic Coast Championship qualifying races, the Erwin H. Schell Trophy and the Victorian Urn, both of which will take place on Oct. 28.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

CORRECTION: September 26, 2017

A previous version of this article incorrectly misquoted Andrew Puopolo as having referenced “ports.” The correct quote should read “one side of the course” instead of “one side of the port.”

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