There’s no doubt about the team to beat when the Los Angeles Yacht Club stages the third annual Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup/Cal Maritime Invitational Intercollegiate Regatta March 12-14.
So far it’s been a Maine event. Maine Maritime Academy from Castine, Me., at the head of majestic Penobscot Bay, has traveled cross-country to win the first two runnings of the West Coast’s only intercollegiate big boat regatta, albeit needing come-from-behind wins in the last races both years.
All seven rivals will return from last year’s dogfight when the lead rotated among five teams as four different boats won Sunday’s final races.
Two-time runnerup USC from just up the Harbor Freeway will be rejoined by—in order of last year’s finishes—Cal State Channel Islands of Oxnard, Chapman University of Orange County, California Maritime Academy of Vallejo, U.S. Coast Guard Academy of New London, Conn., U.S. Naval Academy of Annapolis, Md., and Northwestern University of Evanston, Ill.
Newcomers University of Hawaii and UC Davis from central California round out the event’s largest fleet.
The regatta is sponsored by the Port of Los Angeles, whose support includes the Deed of Gift Harbor Cup Perpetual Trophy, a three-foot-tall silver cup.
Cal Maritime issues the invitations, which are essentially limited to the number of Catalina 37s—the Congressional Cup match-racing boats—chartered from the Long Beach Yacht Club Sailing Foundation, with an 11th to spare in case of breakdowns. Each team will race with a crew of seven, male and female.
Activity ashore will be highlighted by a Saturday night dinner featuring US Sailing President Gary Jobson as keynote speaker.
Race chairman Jim Morgan of LAYC said, “I’m pleased with the enthusiastic spirit of the teams that compete. Not one doesn’t want to come back the next year. It’s unique.”
Also tough competition. Cal Maritime placed only fifth last year but went on to win last fall’s Kennedy Cup and the privilege to represent the U.S. in the annual Student Yachting World Cup in France next October.
Sailing director Charlie Arms-Cartee said, “It will be a great chance to get more experience together as team members in competition with some strong national teams.”
The race course will be about a half-mile offshore between the Angels Gate lighthouse entrance to Los Angeles Harbor and Point Fermin, a venue known locally as “Hurricane Gulch” for its brisk onshore breeze funneling into the San Pedro Channel between Santa Catalina Island and the mainland.
The eight races over three days may be viewed from Point Fermin Park atop the bluff at the end of Gaffey Street. Start times, conditions permitting, will be 3 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. Saturday and noon Sunday.
(8 races; skippers noted)
1. Maine Maritime Academy, Matthew Bourque, 1-6-4-1-1-5-3-2, 23 points.
2. USC, Chris Vetter, 4-5-1-2-7-1-6-3, 29.
3. Cal State U. Channel Islands, Austin Dias, 6-4-3-4-5-4-2-1, 29.
4. Chapman University, Max Moosman, 3-1-2-3-8-7-1-5, 30.
5. California Maritime Academy, Paige Johnston, 2-2-6-9/DSQ-2-2-5-7, 35.
6. U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Eric Johnson, 7-3-7-5-3-3-4-4, 36.
7. U.S. Naval Academy, Andrew Poulin, 5-7-5-6-4-8-8-8, 51.
8. Northwestern Univ., Tod Reynolds, 8-8-8-7-6-6-7-6, 56.
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