Thames River runs rough for MMA sailing team



CASTINE — The Maine Maritime Academy sailing team traveled to New London over the weekend to compete in the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association (NEISA) Showcase Qualifier regatta and found the sailing anything but smooth.

After 28 races sailed over two days, the Mariners found themselves mired in 14th place in the 17-team two-division fleet.

Host team Connecticut College won the event, crushing second-place Dartmouth by 38 points. The Massachusetts Maritime Academy Buccaneers finished fifth, 96 points behind the Connecticut Camels.

Saturday’s race instructions called for an 11 a.m. start, but the morning northerly breeze died and it wasn’t until almost 1 in the afternoon that enough of a southeasterly kicked to allow sailing to get underway.

With a short break when the wind veered southwest, the fleet sailed 16 races, eight in each division, and prepared for an early start on Sunday morning. It was not to be.

When the teams reported at 9:30 the Thames, like its old London counterpart, was shrouded in fog. In due course, the fog burned off, a light southerly blew up the river from Long Island Sound and the fleet completed another dozen races, a total of 28 for the weekend.

The news was not all bad for MMA.

The B-division boat finished with 107 points — far behind the Camels, but still good enough to have the boat place sixth overall. The A-division boat finished last in the fleet.

The NEISA Showcase includes a series of regattas, beginning with last weekend’s qualifier. The nine top finishers will sail in Showcase Finals later this fall. The bottom half of the fleet will qualify for a Showcase Consolation regatta.

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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