LOS ANGELES — The Mariners of Maine Maritime Academy finished at the very bottom of the 10-boat fleet in the 11th annual Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup regatta, an event that MMA won in each of its first two years a decade ago.
With the academy yet to hire a replacement for sailing coach Caroline Councell, who left Castine last fall, virtually no time to practice on the water, and a crew of eight with little offshore racing experience, the Mariners finished more than 50 points behind the winning U.S. Naval Academy team. Navy has never finished last in the regatta, but stood seventh of eight teams when MMA won the 2009 regatta.
The victorious Midshipmen finished well ahead of second place U.C. Santa Barbara. The Cougars of Charleston College, last year’s winner, finished fifth behind the Keelhaulers of California Maritime Academy, the regatta host and winner of five consecutive Harbor Cups between 2011 and 2015.
The regatta encompassed 10 races sailed in identical Catalina 37 sloops over three days.
“We’ve been here since the beginning, and it’s the first time Navy has won it,” skipper Teddy Papenthien said in a statement. “It’s just awesome for the program.”