CASTINE — If the weather cooperates, and enough power outages from Monday’s storm are cured, the Becton Cup regatta will get under way Saturday morning at Maine Maritime Academy. Now in its seventh year, the Becton determines the girls Maine State Doublehanded sailing championship.
Former George Stevens Academy sailing coach Tom Gutow put out the call last month for teams to race in this year’s Becton Cup. On Monday, Gutow, the regatta chairman, said six teams have signed up for the event: George Stevens Academy; Portland High School; Greely High School in Cumberland; Camden Hills High School; Islesboro Central School; and Rockland Community Sailing. Portland and Islesboro have both signed up to race two boats.
Last year, sailing in near windless conditions, only two schools and two community sailing programs sent teams to the Becton, although two schools, including Marblehead (Mass.) High School, withdrew at the last minute. At the end of the day, the number one boat from the Rockland Community Sailing team ran away with the regatta while second place went to a team from the Islesboro Central School. Both teams are organized through The Apprenticeshop in Rockland.
The Becton Cup is sailed in 420 dinghies loaned to the event by Maine Maritime Academy, which also makes its waterfront facilities and personnel available. According to MMA sailing coach Caroline Councell, Monday’s wild weather destroyed two of the academy’s 420s, and a Boston Whaler.
“But we have plenty of boats for the regatta,” Councell said Monday.
The regatta was established in 2011 and named to honor Jean Coggan Becton of Blue Hill. Winner of Maine Women’s Sailing Championship in 1936 and again a decade later, she was a vigorous, longtime supporter of junior sailing.
In its inaugural year, the regatta drew 18 sailors in a nine-boat fleet. In 2015, 11 two-girl teams, representing eight high school and community sailing programs, raced in the autumn regatta. For the past two years, entries have been on the light side, but this year’s fleet seems robust and interest in the regatta strong.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Gutow said Monday.