Bowen and Laurie Sail Maritime to First Team Race Victories

© Gabriel Fidler
© Gabriel Fidler

GREAT HERRING POND, Mass. – On a beautiful day for sailing, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy Sailing Team earned its first team sailing win, defeating Roger Williams University to end Round One, starting the second win another win over the Hawks. The sailors went on to win 5-for-12 races to finish third in the Herring Pond Team Race.

For those who are new to college sailing, there are several types of competitions, including a straight timed race as well as the team race. In a team race, three boats from two universities jockey to cross the finish line and sail from buoy to buoy, which as was the case on Saturday, formed an 'N'. Boats are permitted, following guidelines, to distract other teams and fall back on themselves to alter positions.

The rounds are structured as round robins, with the Herring Pond event featuring four programs. Scores are listed by the finishes of the team boats, so 1-2-5 would indicate a university's dinghies had finished in that order, with the lowest total winning.

After losing a very close race to UMass-Amherst in the opening round and dropping a race to an experienced University of Vermont team, the Buccaneers lined up against RWU. A traditional power in New England College Sailing, the Hawks, like MMA, feature a young team, but it was the Bucs who came out victorious. Alex Bowen and Meghan Laurie showed veteran prowess in out-manoeuvring the Hawks as the first boat to cross the finish. Frank Reeg, the team's only upperclassman, teamed up with Sydney Clays to finish second and give MMA it first team sailing victory.

One heat later, as the Second Round started, the Bucs lined up against Roger Williams again. This time, however, all three Maritime boats crossed the finish before the visiting Hawks, the team's best finish of 2018. Bowen and Laurie were once more second, with Reeg and Clays hot on their heels. Auguste Pizzano and Maya Stephani took third.

Maritime would lose to the talented Catamounts, but used a 1-2-4 finish to beat UMass-Amherst. Round Three saw a second victory over the Minutemen, but Roger Williams turned the tables with a 1-2-4 finish and Vermont was victorious once more. After another loss to Vermont, MMA made it 3-of-4 against RWU in the final round robin and lost by only one position to UMA.

In total, the team went 5-7, finishing one spot behind the Hawks at 6-6. The Catamounts were an incredible 11-1, dropping only one heat to Roger Williams in Round Three. UMass-Amherst went 2-10 to finish fourth. Complete scores can be found here [link].

"It was an excellent day for team racing," noted Head Dinghy Coach Matt Wordell. "The wind started northwest and clocked around to the southwest. The race committee of Dave Fallon and Mass Maritime head trainer Chris Barry was assisted by sailors Thomas Dunn and Chris Dawson, who helped move marks and record finishes."

Maritime Sailing will next appear at the Coast Guard Academy's J70 Open on April 7 and 8.

Gabriel Fidler, Sports Information Associate