CASTINE — A Maine Maritime Academy intercollegiate sailing season that began in turmoil ended on a positive note last weekend with some strong sailing at the U.S. Naval Academy in the Kennedy Cup regatta.
Sailing seven races over three days, the Mariners finished eighth overall in the national big boat sailing championships. After four races, though, MMA was in the top half of the fleet and had a third-place finish to its credit in the first race of the day on Saturday.
According to Navy sailing coach Jahn Tihansky, the regatta chairman, two races were sailed on Friday in a 14-to-16-knot southerly breeze. Navy led all the way in the first race, while California Maritime squeezed past a couple of boats to earn second. The Mariners hit a mark on the course and were penalized one point after placing sixth.
On Saturday, racing began late in the morning, once a promised breeze actually filled in from the northwest. Navy won the first of the day’s three races, and MMA sailed a clever race, and finished third, the team’s best performance of the weekend.
When the spray settled after the last race Sunday, Cal Maritime took home the silver, finishing one point ahead of Navy to win this year’s intercollegiate big boat championship. College of Charleston, last year’s winner, finished just one place ahead of MMA.