Perdomo became the first Crimson to qualify for nationals since Kyle Kovacks '08 did so in 2007 (photo courtesy Athletic Communications).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In only the second regatta of his collegiate career, Juan Carlos Perdomo secured his trip to nationals with a third-place finish at the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association (NEISA) Singlehanded Championships while sophomore Marek Zaleski just missed the qualifying field as he took fifth.
Twenty-six boats, representing 13 schools took the water in Branford, Conn., at the McNay Family Sailing Center vying for four NEISA berths to the ICSA Men's Singlehanded National Championship this November in Newport, R.I.
Despite the light conditions, which limited sailing to only ten races, Perdomo shined. The freshman took third with 52 points, which included top-eight finishes in all but one race, to become the first Crimson sailor to qualify for nationals since Kyle Kovaks '08 did so in 2007. Perdomo's performance was highlighted by winning the final race of the competition and three second-place finishes.
Following a 13th-place finish in the regatta's opening race, Zaleski remained in the top-eight for the remainder of the first day to sit fifth heading into day 2. The Norwalk, Conn., native finished in the top-eight in three of the five races the second day to total 78 points, tying him with Coast Guards' Avery Fanning for fifth, just a spot shy of qualifying for nationals.
"We are pleased Juan was able to qualify for nationals in his second collegiate regatta," said head coach Mike O'Connor. "We are also proud of Marek for his performance. He lost a tiebreaker for the final qualifying spot. While that is tough to swallow; his improvement over the course of the last year is significant."
The No. 10 Crimson coeds also competed at the 31st Hood Trophy, where they finished second.
A lack of wind on Mystic Lake in Medford, Mass., limited the Hood Trophy competition to nine races in each division. Junior skipper Brian Drumm and sophomore crew Jacob Bradt sailed to second-place in the A division. The duo finished in the top-seven in all but one race, highlighted by a win in the regatta's finale. The B division pairing of junior skipper Gram Slattery and freshman crew Emma Wheeler recorded a first and two second-place finishes to claim second place in their group. Harvard finished second overall with 97 points behind host Tufts which dominated the competition with 45 points.
The women took fifth at the Regis Bowl, hosted by Boston University on the Charles. The B division team of sophomore Sophie Bermudez and junior Ashleigh Inglish, skipper and crew, respectively, sat in sixth, but capped off a strong regatta with a second-place finish on the final race of the event to secure 56 points overall for fourth-place in the division. In the A division, senior Caitlin Watson skippered all 10 races while freshmen Julia Lord and Olivia Kjorlein split time at the crew position. The trio finished eighth in the division, recording 75 points, including a second-place, third-place and two fourth-place finishes.
Harvard sailors split up for four regattas next weekend; the Charles Invitational, the Dankmark Trophy, the Ross Trophy and the Smith Trophy,