Sailors hike out on a brisk beat on Harpswell Sound during the two-day Nicholas Barnett Trophy regatta hosted by Bowdoin College last weekend. NEW ENGLAND INTERCOLLEGIATE SAILING ASSOCIATION PHOTO

MMA sailors have tough weekend in Maine and Cambridge

CASTINE — The Maine Maritime Academy sailing team sent squads to regattas hosted by Bowdoin College and MIT last weekend and fared poorly at both of them.

Racing on Harpswell Sound at Bowdoin’s two-day Nicholas Barnett Trophy event, MMA finished 14th in a 16-team fleet. The best takeaway from the regatta was, perhaps, that MMA finished 39 points ahead of their rivals from Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

The Mariners started off fast with a third place finish in the first A-division race of the weekend but, except for two more fifth-place finishes by the A-division boat, spent most of the regatta’s 32 races (16 in each of two divisions) near the bottom of the fleet.

With a very young and inexperienced team, MMA was handicapped by having to sail unfamiliar boats. The Mariners train at home in 420 dinghies but raced in Flying Juniors that are just different enough to slow them down in the mostly light and fluky breezes that prevailed, especially on Sunday.

After traveling all the way from New Haven, the Yale Bulldogs edged the host Bowdoin Polar Bears by three points to win the regatta.

Sailing among three divisions and 19 teams on the Charles River, the Mariners finished dead last in the Hatch Brown Memorial Trophy Regatta hosted jointly by MIT and Boston University.

The A-Division boat outperformed the team’s B and C-Division boats, but again the Mariners were sailing unfamiliar dinghies — in this case Fireflys that have much different sailing characteristics than their familiar 420 dinghies.

This year, the Yale Bulldogs edged the second-place Tufts Jumbos — again by a scant three points to win the Hatch Brown Memorial Trophy. Host MIT finished third.

Stephen Rappaport

Stephen Rappaport

Waterfront Editor at The Ellsworth American
Stephen Rappaport has lived in Maine for nearly 30 years. A lifelong sailor, he spends as much time as possible messing about in boats. [email protected]

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