Both Massachusetts Maritime sailing squads distinguished themselves once again in international competition over the past week, as the Buccaneers made history in the 20th Biennial Marion to Bermuda Race that was completed on Monday.
Eleven male cadets guided the yacht “Mischievous” to the crown early Monday evening, arriving in Bermuda in three days, six hours and five minutes and leading Massachusetts Maritime to the top spot in the competition. Captained by senior Charles Cahill (Duxbury, Mass.), the Buccaneer crew consisted of juniors Brandon Deal (Norton, Mass.), Alexander Hunt (Baltimore, Md.), James Lamb (Taunton, Mass.) and Judson Yerkes (West Barnstable, Mass.); sophomores Kyle Brego (St. John, Virgin Islands), Christopher Mannka (Uxbridge, Mass.) and Evan Sampou (West Newbury, Mass.) as well as freshmen Samuel Estes (Carver, Mass.), Sergio Gratta (Sarasota, Fla.) and Tanner Dailey (Marshfield, Mass.).
Head Coach Chuck Fontaine and special assistant Mark Riley were also aboard “Mischievous”, as both were members of the winning crew for a second straight race after being aboard winning vessel “Shindig” in 2013. Massachusetts Maritime is the only entity to claim line honors twice in the event, which began in 1977.
Massachusetts Maritime also made history on the women’s side, as the Buccaneers fielded the first all-women’s collegiate crew in the race’s history aboard the “Spirit”. Captained by senior Priscilla Stoll (Pocasset, Mass.), the “Spirit” overcame some rough conditions caused by the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill to finish 11th in its class and 34th overall in the event while consistently running in the top 30 throughout. Stoll was joined by junior Leah Saunders (Rochester, Mass.), sophomore Emily Casella (Little Egg Harbor, N.J.) and freshmen Monica Chilcot (Plymouth, Mass.), Cassandra Kolstad (Madison, Conn.), Paige Mentuck (Swampscott, Mass.) and Erica Mutoh (Palmetto Bay, Fla.) on the voyage, with special assistants Carol Teller and Lisa Downey rounding out the crew.
“Both crews were amazing in demonstrating great tactical skills and leadership, and they will always be part of the history of this event,” Fontaine said from Bermuda. “I’m proud of how they worked together to achieve success, and they further enhanced the Academy’s reputation for excellence.”
The Marion to Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race starts in Buzzards Bay off Marion, Massachusetts, and finishes off St. David’s Head, Bermuda with a total distance of 645 miles. Since its inception in 1977, the Marion-Bermuda Race has been a Corinthian event, and yachts are accepted by invitation. The spirit of the race is that all yachts and crew are participating for the joy and pleasure of sailing, competition, and the camaraderie that accompanies such an off-shore event. The race provides an opportunity for cruising yachts and amateur crews to participate in an ocean race and a rendezvous in Bermuda. It encourages the development of blue water sailing skills on seaworthy yachts that can be handled safely offshore with limited crew.
(Materials from www.marionbermuda.com were also used in this release)