After weeks of preparing for the NEISA Team Race Championship, the Harvard sailing team finished the weekend with a fifth place finish, falling short of a bid to nationals by one race. In addition, contingents competing at the Mystic Lake Team Race and Emily Wick Trophy took home fifth and 18th, respectively.
NEISA TEAM RACE CHAMPIONSHIP – FOWLE TROPHY
Coming off of a slew of second place finishes, the No. 9 Crimson fell short at the conference championship, sailing in FJs. Representing Harvard were freshman Kevin Coakley, sophomore Julia Lord, juniors Andrew Molerus, Jacob Bradt, Sydney Karnovsky, and Marek Zaleski, and seniors Brian Drumm, Michael Drumm, and Gram Slattery.
The 10-8 finish earned the host Crimson fifth place in the field of 12 teams.
The race schedule consisted of two rounds: the first with all 12 teams, with the top eight moving onto the second. In the first round, Harvard thrived, beating a slew of opponents, including No. 1 Yale.
However, the second round provided Harvard with less success as the team dropped five of its seven races.
The day’s top performance came from No. 3 Boston College, who was followed by No. 8 Roger Williams, Yale, and No. 5 Tufts. The pool proved to be filled with tough competition, as Connecticut College was the only team to enter the contest unranked.
Other perils came with the weather. Saturday brought gusts up to 25 knots, resulting in a broken shroud and some bent masts. Conversely, the next day saw light winds of 2-8 knots.
MYSTIC LAKE TEAM RACE
Another Crimson squad took the short trek to Tufts. Harvard finished fifth of 10 teams with a 3-5 record, sailing in larks.
One of the biggest challenges of the regatta proved to be the weather. Gusts on Saturday caused frequent capsizes and breakdowns.
“Our team thrived in the conditions,” freshman skipper Nick Sertl said. “We were the only team never to break a boat or to capsize.”
Coming into the regatta, the Crimson was determined to sail clean, consistent races. Sertl cited cohesive teamwork as a reason behind some of the team’s successful races.
“Strategically we wanted to stay focused and level-headed, starting every race without letting anything discouraging from the last one carry over,” freshman crew Ari Gross said.
One of Harvard’s key moments came against ranked opponent Roger Williams, who the team beat with boats coming in 1-2-6. Other successes came in the Crimson’s losses to BC and Brown, who placed 2nd and 4th, respectively. Despite losing the races, a Harvard boat crossed the line first in both cases.
The Crimson maintained the same lineup for the entirety of the weekend. The duos of Sertl and sophomore crew Nomin-Erdene Jagdagdorj, freshman skipper Dylan Farrell and Gross, and junior skipper Adam Brodheim and freshman crew Kirstin Anderson competed at the regatta.
Despite ending the weekend with a fifth place finish, the team is qualifying this regatta in other ways.
“Even though our win loss record wasn’t great, there was definitely a lot to show for it,” Sertl said. “We were competitive in every race and were always making good plays.”
EMILY WICK TROPHY
An all-female contingent competed in the interconference regatta hosted by Coast Guard, racing in 420s and FJs. The squad finished in 18th, after dropping out of the B division races due to injuries.
The duo of freshman Taylor Ladd and junior Kristina Jakobson finished the A division races tied for 13th in 420s. Without a boat competing in the B division race, the team slipped to last place.
The pool of competition included teams from around the United States. The Crimson faced new competitors such as Wisconsin, Southern Florida, and Santa Clara. Ancient Eight rival Yale took first place for the third consecutive year.
The weather proved similar to that of the NEISA Championship, with gusts on Saturday and little to no wind on Sunday.
—Staff writer Isabel DeLaura can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.