Alma matters!

EARLY FAVORITES. MIT alumni have the mechanical advantage over the other teams, but do they have the fighting spirit?

Sitting with a gaggle of perky Penn alumni at the Herzliya Marina, I stare into my cup of coffee, wondering what will happen to the hot, sloshing liquid in my belly once I set out to sea in a flimsy sailboat.

It's a perfect day to go for a leisurely sail: letting the wind carry the boat along before gliding back to shore. But at the Penn Israel Regatta, where alumni from seven Ivy League universities (plus a dashing, shirtless MIT contingent) have gathered, it seems that overachieving continues long after those shining four years of grade grubbing, all-nighters and elitism.

As the Penn alumni begin to discuss the stomach bug wreaking havoc in Jerusalem - the particulars of which lead me to abandon my coffee - a lithe Yale alumna approaches to conspire. "We make sure Harvard doesn't win today. No matter what," she says in a low, raspy whisper. The Penn alumni nod, like henchmen accepting their latest assignment.

{josquote}The Harvard alumni pop their own champagne and pass it around. Al [Albert Lincoln?], class of '67 and secretary-general of the Bahai Temple in Israel, takes a swig and takes the wheel.{/josquote}

Despite being a recent alumna of an Ivy of my own, I still can't grasp the rivalry that these alumni are engaging in: half a world away and, for some, half a century later. The winning yacht receives champagne for their victory and, as the event's organizer Dov Hoch put it, "bragging rights for at least one more year."

Full story...