CASTINE — With a new coach taking the helm this fall, the Maine Maritime Academy sailing team has still managed to maintain a busy schedule.
Last weekend, six Mariner sailors traveled to Larchmont, N.Y, to race in the Storm Trysail Foundation’s annual Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta.
Hosted by the Larchmont Yacht Club, this year’s event drew some 450 collegiate sailors from 45 colleges, universities and service academies to race 49 boats divided among six classes including J/44s, J/109s, J/105s and three Performance Handicap Rating Formula (PHRF) classes.
MMA sailed a J/105 lent to the event by its owner, as were virtually all the other boats that raced, named Boat 63.
Sailing the 35-foot keel sloop in five windward-leeward races over the two-day event, the young MMA team finished eighth overall in the 12-boat class. The team’s top finish was a sixth place in the second race of the weekend.
Sailing Young American, the team from the College of Charleston handily won the class with five bullets.
While the big-boaters were in New York, the Mariners also sent 10 sailors to Cambridge, Mass., to race a pair of Tech and Firefly dinghies in the George Warren Smith Trophy Regatta hosted by MIT.
With 20 teams sailing in light northwesterly breezes on the Charles River, MMA’s boats finished 15th and 17th overall. The Tufts Jumbos finished in the top two spots.
This weekend, the Mariners’ big-boat sailors are scheduled to head for Annapolis to sail in the McMillan Cup Regatta hosted by the U.S. Naval Academy. MMA dinghy sailors are slated for a trip to Burlington, Vt., to race on Lake Champlain for the Ross Trophy in a regatta hosted by the University of Vermont.
The McMillan Cup Regatta is the oldest collegiate sailing event in the United States. Dating back to 1928, the event was first raced for the current trophy in 1931 and has been sailed in Navy 44-foot yawls since 1950.
Primarily an intercollegiate large yacht racing event for the New England and Middle Atlantic States, until 1950 the regattas were held at various sailing centers in New England. After World War II, it became apparent that competing colleges could not find sufficient boats to continue the regatta.
In 1950, the Naval Academy offered its 44-foot Luders yawls for Intercollegiate Yacht Racing Association competition. Since that time, the regatta has been a Chesapeake Bay event.