Inexperienced Crimson Shines

Sailing on the Charles
Meredith H. Keffer

A young Harvard sailing team participated in MIT’s Midweek Tech Invitational on Tuesday. Freshmen Ames Lyman and Alice Kenney were the top finishers for the Crimson, taking fourth place out of 14 sailboats.

The Harvard sailing team sent a young squad to represent the Crimson in Tuesday’s Midweek Tech Invitational held on the Charles River and hosted by MIT. But age proved not to be a factor, as rookie skipper Ames Lyman and fellow freshman crew Alice Kenney took fourth place in the field of 14 boats.

Five out of Harvard’s eight sailors in the first of three Midweek Tech Invites scheduled for the fall season were freshmen, including skippers Ben Lamont and Lyman and crewmembers Sarah Pierson, Diana Powell, and Kenney. Junior Grant Wonders and sophomores Lauren Tiedemann and Chris Lee rounded out the group.

Wonders provided the skippering duties for one of the Crimson’s four boats in the regatta, as Tiedemann served as crew in helping the duo to a seventh-place finish overall.

“We did okay,” freshman skipper Ben Lamont said, “but for us today was more about gaining experience and improving so that we can help contribute to the team in the future.”

The skipper-crew duo of Lyman and Kenney posted the Crimson’s best result of the day, finishing third in one of the six races at the local regatta, as all of the boats competing in the event hailed from Boston-area schools, including MIT, Northeastern, Wellesley, and Tufts.


MIT fulfilled its duty of defending its own home course, as freshman skipper Hanna Vincent and junior crew Hannah Spark brought home first place, and junior skipper Neil Forrester and freshman crew Leo Zhon took third for the Engineers.

MIT’s series of Tech Invitationals are unique events in Harvard’s season because all of the teams competing are coed and the races are contested in MIT’s custom-made “Tech” fleet, which consists of dinghies that were originally designed by MIT Professor George Owen in 1935 and have since been remodeled over the years.

“The Techs sport a main sail but no jib, which is unique,” Lamont said.

As exciting as the action was on the water, the gorgeous afternoon conditions almost stole the show.

“It was a beautiful day overall,” Lamont said. “There were great wind conditions.”

Nonetheless, the wind gradually picked up throughout the September afternoon.

“It got pretty gusty out there,” Lyman admitted. “Wind speeds reached 14 knots, oscillating between southwest and west-by-southwest.”

In one race, the Lamont and Pierson team capsized due to the increased winds.

“We were going downwind, and our boat started to rock side-to-side, which often happens in such conditions,” Lamont said. “We tried to jibe around the leeward gate, and then we just flipped. When we turned the boat back over, it was totally swamped.”

After spending the next five minutes bailing out the boat, Lamont and Pierson were forced to miss the next race.

“It probably hurt our ranking a fair amount,” Lamont conceded, “but we learned a lot and improved throughout the day.”

The Lamont-Pierson duo finished the last few races near the front of the pack, ending up in eighth place out of the 14 boats competing.


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