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SUNY Maritime wins McMillan Cup

Published on October 14th, 2018

The SUNY Maritime College sailing team won the McMillan Cup, the oldest collegiate sailing event, on October 13-14, with ten teams sailing the US Naval Academy’s 44-foot keelboats in Annapolis, MD. The win qualified Maritime for the Kennedy Cup on November 3-4, the premier college big boat championship.

The team was led by skipper Kyle Comerford (Annapolis, Md/Annapolis) with his crew of Jeffrey Ellington (Tactician), Dan Wilkins (Primary Trimmer), Paul Monks (Trumbull, Conn./St. Joseph) (Second Trimmer), Peter Mosconi (Brooklyn, N.Y./Xaverian) (Pit), Garrett Bolton (Fair Haven, N.Y./Red Creek) (Mast man), Bailey Kerr (Charleston, S.C./Hanahan) (Main Trimmer), and Miller Dondrack (Bow).

“Capturing the MacMillan Cup is an incredible achievement for our team,” said head coach Zach Runci. “The team has been working hard all season to prepare for the event. Going into the regatta we knew that qualifying for the Kennedy Cup was on the line and that a strong finish would get the job done. Seeing the team win in commanding fashion gives us great momentum looking forward to the Kennedy Cup.”

In the opening race, the Privateers weren’t able to get off the line in an ideal spot, but they were able to tack out to the favorable side and ended up winning the race by one minute. The second race got off to a much better start for Maritime and after rounding the mark in first place, they dominated the rest of the way and won by nearly four minutes.

The third race was neck and neck between the Privateers and USMMA. The two teams changed leading the race multiple times, but the Mariners rounded the last mark slightly ahead. Maritime battled hard down the final stretch, but just couldn’t quite take back the lead and narrowly lost the third race.

The Privateers got off to another hot start in the fourth race, but on the last upwind leg they chose the wrong side of the course to sail on and they fell back to a fourth place finish.

The second day was canceled due to low winds, and Maritime was crowned McMillan Cup champions for the first time since 1983. “This regatta is something I set as a goal to win this fall,” said Comerford. “With all the hard work and the dedication we have put in this season were able to accomplish this.”

Comerford will look to continue this success at the Kennedy Cup. He will then have a quick turnaround as the following weekend he will skipper the Privateers at the Match Race National Championships in California.

“I give most of my credit to my crew that sail with me,” said Comerford. “A saying that often goes through my head is, ‘a good skipper can make a bad crew look ok, but a great crew can make a good skipper be successful.’ I could not be this successful without the people I sail with. The victory is only the beginning of the bright future Maritime offshore sailing has.”

Comerford also noted the vital contributions of volunteer assistant offshore coach Kevin Cahoon.


Source: SUNY Maritime College

Background: The ICSA is the governing authority for sailing competition at colleges and universities throughout the United States and in some parts of Canada. There are seven Conferences that schedule and administer regattas within their established geographic regions, with ICSA hosting two national championships in the fall (singlehanded, match racing) and three national championships in the spring (team, women’s, coed).

2018 Fall Nationals
November 2-4 – Singlehanded – Holland, MI
November 16-18 – Match Racing – Newport Beach, CA

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