Potts, Harvard Cruise to Victory at Nevins Trophy

At U.S. Merchant Marine Academy's Nevins Trophy this weekend, Cardwell Potts and the Harvard Sailing team once again verified their ranking as the No. 1 team in college sailing. Potts and his crew Laura Schubert took first place in A division, while Vince Porter and his crew Ruth Schlitz took first place in B division, and freshman Clay Johnson was third in the C division, which was sailed in Lasers. Harvard's combined point was 124 points, 51 points fewer than second place finisher Navy, and 60 points under third place finisher U.S. Merchant Marine Academy."We definitely had an all-around strong weekend," said Potts. "All three divisions were sailing well and consistently."Conditions both days provided trying racing, including a two-hour delay on Saturday before a 5-8 knot westerly breeze filled in and allowed seven races to be held in each division. Sunday began with a 12-knot breeze, which dropped off steadily throughout the morning and eventually died out completely. Only three races in each division were then completed, making a total of ten races per division. Current and chop played a role both days."The conditions were frustrating," said Katie Shuman, who was crewing for Tufts in A division. "The combination of light wind, big chop, and really long downwind legs on the trapezoid course made the races long and difficult. It was very easy to lose a lead on the downwind."Harvard's team, however, managed to stay ahead throughout the regatta. Potts, who was sailing Vanguard 15s in A division, finished first in six out of ten A division races, finishing the regatta with 29 points, less than three per race. Potts attributed his speed to good starts and straight-line boatspeed. "I was starting at the pin and getting off the line. Sailing in a less shifty venue like Kings Point makes boatspeed really important. This weekend, we were consistently fast, and that's how we managed to stay ahead." After finishing first in A division at the Harry Anderson Trophy at Yale, and third in A division at the Captain Hurst Bowl at Dartmouth, Potts' season is off to a very strong start. "I have had a few good weekends," said Potts. "Hopefully I can sail that consistently all fall. There are some big regattas, like the Danmark in two weeks, which will be a very different kind of sailing. Hopefully my whole team can keep up the consistency of the past three weeks."The Harvard team has now finished third, first, and first to open the 2003-04 season. With a full regatta schedule in the upcoming weeks, the Washington College team, which was unable to attend the Nevins due to flooding on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, as well as Dartmouth, St. Mary's, Tufts, and Hawaii (who has yet to attend a regatta out East) will all be looking to overthrow Harvard's dynasty.Nevins Trophy Results (top 10)Place Team A div/B div/C div total1. Harvard 29/46/49 1242. Navy 60/48/67 1753. USMMA 84/61/39 1844. St. Mary's 68/60/58 1865. Dartmouth 99/52/42 1936. Hobart/Wm Smith 66/68/60 1947. Georgetown 53/96/70 2198. Old Dominion 84/97/55 2369. Tufts 79/118/68 26510. Rhode Island 105/79/133 317WINNING TEAM : Cardwell Potts, Laura Schubert, Vincent Porter, Ruth Schlitz, Clay Johnson