CASTINE — With boats coming out of the water in preparation for the coming winter, Maine Maritime Academy’s sailing team has just about wrapped up its season at home but not before filing one last reminder that the Mariners are a growing force in collegiate sailing.
Last weekend, four Mariners braved wild winds in New Hampshire to take a solid third place in the Underdog Trophy regatta. Sailed on Mendum’s Pond, in Barrington, N.H., the event saw winds gust as high as 30 miles per hour on Saturday, 20 on Sunday, and plenty of capsizes both days.
After 26 races over two days, Providence College edged the host University of New Hampshire Wildcats by a single point to take home the Underdog silver. MMA finished just 13 points behind the winner.
Sailing Flying Junior dinghies in two divisions, the Mariners displayed remarkable consistency. Both the Division A boat, with skipper Chris Poole and freshman crew Hadley Neale, and the Division B boat, with Chris Hulse and Lori Berggren aboard, finished with identical points. The A crew finished just for points behind the first-place PC Friars.
The fleet saw a wide range of wind conditions over the two days. Saturday morning began with a 5-12-miles-per-hour southerly, but by afternoon the wind was gusting 28-30. Sunday saw the morning wind coming out of the west, then veering northwesterly with a few puffs above 20.
Despite the difficult conditions, both Mariner boats completed all their races and both of them took home bullets. Poole and Neale won the final race of the regatta, while Hulse and Berggren won a race each day.
While MMA’s “grownups” raced in New Hampshire, two freshman crews traveled to the Charles River in Cambridge to race in the Nickerson Trophy regatta that serves as the New England collegiate freshman championship event. Sailing against 16 other freshmen teams, the Mariners finished dead last.
Conditions on the Charles were wild. On Saturday, the race committee reported 43 capsizes in the course of 14 races. On Sunday, the temperature dropped, but so did the wind, and the fleet completed 14 races capsize-free.
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