Castine and Portland Regattas Open College, School Sailing Seasons

CASTINE — With frost warnings for Maine’s higher valleys and the smell of wood smoke in the air, sailors from Maine Maritime Academy and Mount Desert Island High School are preparing for their first regattas of the fall sailing season.


On Saturday, Sept. 12, the state champion MDI Trojans are slated to send crews for two boats to Portland to sail in the Casco Bay Fall Open. As of Monday, 13 other public and private high schools from as far away as Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts had registered to sail in the fleet racing regatta.

On the same weekend, Maine Maritime Academy will host two regattas, the Penobscot Bay Open and the Philip Harman Cup, in Castine.

Twenty colleges, including MMA, are scheduled to send teams to race 420-class dinghies in the Open. That regatta serves as a qualifier for the Danmark Trophy regatta, scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 3-4 at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.

Seven colleges are slated to send teams to race in the Harman Cup. That regatta is sailed in Colgate 26 keelboats.

Over the past two seasons, Mariner sailors have become a dominant force on the intercollegiate keelboat circuit. Last year, the team won its second consecutive Port of Los Angeles (POLA) Harbor Cup regatta. The team also won the 2008 Intrepid Regatta at the U.S. Naval Academy and finished in a three-way tie for first place last year.

Last week, MMA sailing coach Tom Brown began auditioning incoming freshmen for the Mariner sailing team. A strong nucleus remains from last year’s team, but several key sailors graduated in April.

Brown said he was optimistic about the enthusiasm shown by the incoming freshmen, but cautioned that only time and competition would disclose how strong a crop of new sailors the team would receive.

For more maritime news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.




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