California Maritime wins Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup
Published on March 15th, 2015
San Pedro, CA (March 15, 2015) – The final day of the Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup was a thriller, with stunning wins by Navy and Massachusetts Maritime, and a near-upset at the top tier.
Going into Sunday’s races, on the final day of the three-day intercollegiate invitational big boat regatta, California Maritime had a one-point lead over College of Charleston; with third place University of Southern California holding off Navy by just four points. Skies were overcast but temps warm, and the westerly breeze lively.
An altercation at the start of Sunday’s first race – number nine in the series – pitted Navy against Cal. Maritime. Cal Berkeley won that start, but it was Navy who torpedoed through the fleet, showing off their proficient and vigorous teamwork and leading from wire to wire, to edge out Cal Maritime (2) and Charleston (3).
The breeze held steady for the final race of this popular and hard-fought series, with the title still up for grabs. Massachusetts Maritime shook up the docket with a spectacular start, and sped to the right side of the course at the head of the fleet.
Earlier, skipper Priscilla Stoll has admitted she and her team were “a little rusty,” saying this winter’s extreme weather had kept the crew off the water since November. But the Mass. Buccaneers stole the lead and finished their final race with a bullet.
Navy finished second, to inch the USC Trojans out of third place overall, while California State University Long Beach rebounded from an OCS to take third place in that race and sixth overall.
Back at the dock, Navy dismissed their Race Nine protest – leaving Cal Maritime uncontested at the top, with a three point advantage over Charleston.
The rival Cougars had been in the hunt, admitted Chris Vilicich, Cal Maritime skipper: “At one point in the race it thought it was all over. I thought to myself, ‘We just have to be really patient, do everything we practiced, and hope for the best.’”
“The team did great,” he continued. “Our boat handling was almost perfect, we made very few mistakes. I was super happy and very proud of them.”
“I’m really fortunate to have won it this year,” added Vilicich. Defending Cal Maritime’s four-year winning streak put “a ton of pressure” on the team. “I’ve been super-nervous the past two weeks – but now that it’s finally over I’m relieved.”
Report by event media.