CASTINE — Racing for the first time and sailing with only a single practice session aboard a Colgate 26 sloop, four Maine Maritime Academy sophomores did coach Tom Brown proud with their performance last weekend in the Clark Open women’s regatta at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.
Conditions on the Thames were extremely challenging. Saturday morning saw winds of 11-16 knots with gusts to 23 knots. Things only got worse in the afternoon.
“It was really windy,” Brown said. “We saw a 38-knot blast.”
Despite conditions that saw at least one boat capsize, in her first race at the helm skipper Ally Fuehrer managed to keep the MMA boat among the top five in the 10-boat fleet for much of the day.
“Simple mistakes,” Brown said, allowing other boats to pass them at the turning mark, pushed the Mariners down in the finish order.
MMA finished eighth overall with 70 points. The Hawks of Roger Williams College took first with 26 points and four bullets in 10 races.
‘I was pretty impressed with what they did,” Brown said Tuesday. “There was a lot of carnage, but the girls sailed with confidence.”
The regatta at Coast Guard was the first time MMA has fielded a team to send to women’s sloop racing event. Brown hopes develop a full women’s racing program at the academy.