Sept. 23, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
The Navy offshore sailing team placed first of 10 teams at the Shields Trophy Regatta this weekend in Annapolis. Additionally, Navy was first out of seven in the PHRF class A2 and first out of 15 in the PHRF at the Hospice Cup. Navy also placed seventh and eighth of 11 entries in the J/105 class at the Hospice Cup.
Ten teams turned up for the 2013 Shields Trophy Regatta, the
trophy for service and maritime schools sailed in the Naval Academy's fleet
of 44' sloops.
Saturday brought challenging conditions with a building southerly and
unusually large waves and chop for the Chesapeake. Navy jumped out to a
quick lead winning the first race and a close second in race number two. Cal
Maritime started slowly with a 2,4 but came on strong to win the final two
races of the day. After the first two races the wind was gusting into the
mid 20s. With equipment preservation in mind, PRO Fred Dersch opted to
restrict sail selection to #3 jibs and no spinnakers for the final two.
This put a huge premium on starts and upwind boat handling. At the end of
the day, Cal was in first with Navy one point back and NY Maritime one point
ahead of Kings Point.
With the cold front passed, conditions on Sunday were typical
fall Annapolis with NNW winds starting in the high teens. Most teams opted
for #3 jibs for the first leg of race number one of the day and it was unclear which
was best. However, the breeze was dropping and Navy elected to change
downwind which proved decisive as they passed Coast Guard and Cal Maritime
to take the win. For the second race, Cal nailed the pin and worked the
favored left side while Navy found themselves buried after the start. Cal
went wire to wire for the win while Navy scratched back to a 5th just
nipping Maine Maritime at the finish. For the final race, Cal was sitting
on a three-point lead but no doubt nervous given the fluky conditions. NY
Maritime won the pin with Navy safely to windward while Cal couldn't fetch
the pin due to the building ebb. NY Maritime went up and down in the lead
with Navy in second and Cal Maritime back in sixth and forced left outside a
number of boats. Navy stayed in phase to slip past NY and rounded the last
weather mark well ahead of NY. Cal did not give up, passing two boats. In
the end it was not enough as Navy held the tiebreak, which ended up being
the deciding factor.