Harvard Sailing Places Fifth at ICSA Coed National Championship

Kopp had three top-four finishes in his last four collegiate races (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).
Kopp had three top-four finishes in his last four collegiate races (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).

Day 1 Recap | Day 2 Recap

—The New England-champion Harvard sailing team capped the 2012 season with a fifth-place finish at the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association/Gill Dinghy National Championship, which concluded Friday on Lake Travis.

Senior Brendan Kopp and sophomore Sarah Pierson placed second in the A division, four points behind winner Georgetown, while senior Emily Lambert and freshmen Brian Drumm and Michael Drumm took 13th place in the B division. The Hoyas claimed the national championship by placing first in the 18-school field with 137 points. Roger Williams finished second with 169 points, edging Yale (171). The Crimson finished with 213 points, just six more than fourth-place College of Charleston.

Harvard finished in the nation's top five for the third straight year, capping an outstanding finish to a strong season. The Crimson previously won its first New England title in 11 years, placed third in the ICSA coed semifinals and finished eighth in the ICSA/Sperry Top-Sider Women's National Championship.

"We're really pleased," head coach Mike O'Connor said. "I'm very proud of the way the kids worked hard all year and the progress we made as a team. Our players worked very well together, and they performed their best at the biggest regattas."

Kopp and Pierson led the way in difficult conditions caused by winds shifting in direction and varying in velocity. The conditions allowed only a pair of races in each division to be completed Friday. Kopp and Pierson won their first race and placed fourth in the second to finish the competition with 75 points in 12 races. The top-four finishes were their seventh and eighth of the regatta, and they finished in the second half of the pack just twice.

"Brendan and Sarah sailed a fabulous regatta," O'Connor said. "They were able to make some excellent comebacks and win a lot of small battles. They led the way in their work ethic all year, and the rest of the team followed."

Lambert and Brian Drumm placed eighth or better on five occasions, including one win. The Crimson B-division team finished just one point behind 11th-place Boston College and eight points outside the top 10 in the division.

Team Standings
Georgetown 137
Roger Williams 169
Yale 171
College of Charleston 207
Harvard 213
Hobart & William Smith 231
Boston College 231
Stanford 246
Tufts 252
Wisconsin 255
South Florida 263
Boston Univeristy 264
Miami 267
Dartmouth 277
Brown 284
Navy 306
Old Dominion 318
New York Maritime 356