Offshore Sailing Wins the McMillan Cup
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy varsity offshore sailing team won the McMillan Cup this past weekend in Annapolis. The McMillan Cup serves as the New England/Mid-Atlantic Big Boat Championship. Navy won the McMillan Cup for the 20th time overall and for the fourth straight year under head coach Jahn Tihansky.
After no wind and no races on Saturday, Sunday dawned with more promise of wind. PRO Taran Teague and her team of NASS RC volunteers proceeded to the race area and stood by as a light easterly filled amid deck-level clouds and fog. Just before the 10:30 warning for the first race, the wind direction became very erratic forcing a postponement. Finally, it appeared to settle in from the predicted SSE direction at around six knots with a building ebb.
Race 1 for the regatta started with Coast Guard, Mass Maritime and Army all on course side. Meanwhile, Navy won the pin and Kings Point got away clean near the boat end. Twenty-plus degree shifts at a rapid rate made it difficult to determine who was ahead but KP rounded the weather mark first with Navy a couple of lengths back. Queens rounded third with SUNY 4th.
Downwind, Navy was first to jibe while KP was a bit late to cover. This gave Navy the inside at the bottom gate where the teams stacked up sailing slowly against the current. Navy led up the second beat and arrived at the second weather mark with a narrow lead over KP. Coast Guard sailed sharply and had clawed their way to round third tightly packed with SUNY and Mass Maritime.
Down the run, KP jibed first with Coast Guard and Navy following suit. Navy fended off KP to win the race while Mass Maritime sneaked by Coast Guard for third. SUNY was fifth and was followed by Rhode Island, Queen's, N.C. State, Maine Maritime and Army in the 10-boat field.
As it turned out, this would be the only race of the regatta as the wind shut down completely soon after the final boat finished and did not reappear.
By virtue of their race win, Navy keeps the McMillan Cup (for the fourth year in a row). KP and Mass Maritime earn automatic berths to the Kennedy Cup coming up in two weeks.
Additionally, the Navy junior varsity offshore sailing team placed first and second in an 11-team field at the Small Keelboat Promo Regatta this weekend.
Navy will next compete in the J/105 Chesapeake Bay Championships next weekend.