Stokes helped assure Harvard's qualification with a strong finish, including a win in the last race (photo courtesy David Silverman).
NEW LONDON, Conn.—The Harvard sailing team qualified for the national semifinals with a sixth-place finish at the New England Dinghy Championship over the weekend at Connecticut College.
The rest of the Crimson squad was busy as well, with the women's team placing sixth at nearby Coast Guard and other sailors competing at three local regattas.
Alan Palmer and Meghan Wareham placed fifth in the A division with 127 points, while John Stokes and Quincy Bock finished seventh in the B division with 138. Harvard had a strong first day of sailing and stood in third place at the end of Saturday. The Crimson finished Sunday one point back of fifth-place Tufts and 15 behind Roger Williams in fourth.
“We got the job done,” said head coach Mike O'Connor, whose coed squad advances to the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association National Semifinal May 1-2 in Seattle. “We were happy with our performance on Saturday. It didn't go as well Sunday, but Stokes and Bock rallied in their last set of races to give us some breathing room.”
Harvard finished 31 points ahead of the top non-qualifying team, ninth-place Boston University. Boston College won the New England title, followed by Yale and Brown. Vermont and Salve Regina claimed the final two national-qualifying spots.
Racing in a field of 18 schools, Palmer and Wareham won three times and placed in the top four on eight occasions in 17 races. Stokes and Bock had two wins and five top-four finishes.
The second-place duo of Emily Lambert and Alexandra Jumper paced Harvard at the Women's Emily Wick/Sloop Shrew regatta. They won three times and placed second twice in 13 races.
Harvard also placed ninth in the Oberg Trophy at BU, seventh in the Gibb Trophy at Tufts and ninth in the Midweek Tech Invitational Tuesday at MIT.