CASTINE — The 11th annual Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup regatta will open the collegiate offshore sailing season next week, and once again, Maine Maritime Academy will send a team to race for the trophy.
The event is scheduled to get underway Thursday, March 9, and continue through 10 windward-leeward races over three days, weather permitting.
The invitational regatta includes teams from 10 colleges and universities including, among others in addition to MMA, the defending champion California Maritime Academy, runner-up College of Charleston and, for an international flavor, Ireland’s Cork Institute of Technology.
The teams race in identical Catalina 37 one-design sloops used in the Congressional Cup Regatta, sailed off Long Beach, with skippers and crew often on route to the America’s Cup.
Maine Maritime Academy won the first two Harbor Cup regattas. Last year, the Mariners finished fourth.
This year, with the college in the midst of a search for a new coach, the eight members of the MMA sailing team will travel to Los Angeles with small boat master Capt. Derek Chase serving as adviser. Once in California, MMA spokeswoman Jennifer DeJoy said, the team will have the support of alumni Sean Marchant and Jill Morgan.
“Sean was on the sailing team while he was at MMA and helps us out with local knowledge and sailing advice,” DeJoy said in an email. “Jill is a member of the LA Yacht Club and will help with logistics — she is also a great supporter of MMA.”
This year, the host Los Angeles Yacht Club has required that each college have two women crew members.
The Mariners will have freshman Renaissance Lyman sailing at the bow and sophomore Corinne Poitras in the pit.
The rest of the relatively young crew includes four sophomores, including skipper James Trentham, one junior and one senior.
According to DeJoy, the academy has yet to hire a new sailing coach, but “we’re making progress.”