“We didn’t do well in the last set, they got us there,” said sophomore Henry Burnes, an active Crimson news editor. “[We didn’t] execute on matching up with the guys we had to beat and beating them in the race. [We needed to] do a little more boat-on-boat racing — just connecting with the other boat and ensuring that we stay ahead of them.”
Despite having to settle for second place — an impressive feat in and of itself coming from a 17 team field that consisted of many top boats — Harvard had many impressive performances throughout the event hosted by Dartmouth College. The Crimson’s division A boat, consisting of sophomore Eliot Burnes and senior Lena Episalla, finished in fourth place in the division and actually held the top spot many races during the second half of the regatta. The division B boat, sailed by Henry Burnes and senior Catherine Tang, finished in third in the division. The division C boat, captained by junior Jessica Williams and senior Nicholas Karnovsky, also snagged a fourth place finish.
But when it came down to the wire, Stanford outperformed the entire field. Both the Cardinal’s A B boat won its respective final races of the regatta, and Stanford’s B boat held the top spot in its division for a majority of the entire regatta. This boat was the true difference-maker for the Cardinal’s team, as it extended skipper Wiley Rogers’ undefeated streak on the season and finished in first place in the B division, ultimately bringing home the Captain Hurst Bowl for Stanford.
“It was an exciting end of the regatta,” said Williams, the Norfolk, Va. native. “We’re happy with the second place, but it definitely stings a little. We would have obviously preferred to get first.”
Also this weekend was the Women’s Showcase Finals, hosted by Brown University. The Crimson finished in 11th place out of 18 teams, with the A boat — sailed by senior Taylor Gavula, freshman Emma Kaneti, and sophomores Emily Wang and Emma Jakobson — snagging a 10th place finish and the B boat — led by junior Lucy Wilmot and senior Alejandra Resendiz — ending up in ninth place.
Looking back on the weekend, both Williams and Burnes saw ups and downs for Harvard. As such, the team is looking to perfect its technique as the fall season begins to wind down.
“We did a pretty good job of positioning ourselves well on the course,” Williams said. “In general, we could be better about our starts and be more consistent with our results.”
Burnes tended to agree with Williams about the importance of a solid start to a race.
“The team generally was able to have good races when we got off the line well and had good starts, and struggled a little more when we weren’t able to get good starts,” Burnes stated. “[We need to] get off the line clean and put ourselves in spots that are conducive for doing well in races.”
With all that in mind, the Harvard squad is certainly optimistic for the future. This upcoming weekend is the Showcase Finals at Saint Mary’s College — the culmination of the sailing season — to which only the top 18 teams in the country are invited. The Crimson will face some of the opponents they saw this weekend as they compete in one of the most important regattas of the season.
“It was a good weekend for the team, and we’re building up towards the Showcase Finals,” said Burnes, the Boston, Mass., native. “I think we’ve had a pretty good, building season — we started off a little shaky, and we started to get more consistent and have stronger finishes in the regattas — so we’re hoping to close out the season on a high note.”