MMA seeks sailing coach

CASTINE — Maine Maritime Academy is looking for a new sailing coach.

The new coach will replace Caroline Councell, who took over the Mariners sailing team in November 2015. Before taking the helm full-time, Councell coached the MMA dinghy team from August 2009 through the end of the 2011 season as a student assistant to former MMA sailing coach Tom Brown.

Last month, Councell and her family moved to British Columbia in Canada.

Under Councell’s guidance, an inexperienced MMA offshore sailing team showed significant progress while racing at two Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup regattas in California, in the McMillan Cup event at the U.S. Naval Academy and at the Storm Trysail Foundation’s Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta.

In October, MMA won the Storm Trysail regatta’s J/44 class outright, beating sailing teams from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and the Naval Academy.

MMA began the hunt for Councell’s successor last month. In addition to coaching varsity sailing, the post calls for working as the academy’s coordinator of sailing programs.

“The position is advertised in some trade publications and websites, in addition to the MMA sites,” said Dana Willis, the academy’s marine operations manager, last week. Among the online resources the academy is using are the Tall Ships America’s Billet Bank and the Sail 1 Design website.

Though the search for a new coach is in its early days, the academy’s offshore sailing team is already looking forward to another March trip to California to race in the 11th annual Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup Regatta. MMA won the inaugural event, an invitational regatta for top collegiate sailing teams, in 2008 and repeated as winner in 2009.

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