Navy claims 2019 McMillan Cup

Published on October 20th, 2019

Navy won the 2019 McMillan Cup, the East Coast Championship for College Big Boat sailing and the oldest trophy in College Sailing, held October 19-20 in Annapolis, MD. Winning four of the seven races, Navy dominated the 10 team field sailed in Navy 44 sloops.

October 19:
While the forecasts for the day portended a tough day of light air, the wind gods smiled on the fleet and served up a slowly building southerly which allowed PRO Bruce Bingman and his NASS RC team crank out four quality races in the shifty winds that started in the mid-single digits and built to the low teens by race 4.

University of Rhode Island came out of the blocks hot recovering from a bad start to win the first race while Kings Point took second and Navy 3rd. Navy kicked it into gear in race 2 and led wire to wire for the win while URI was OCS and struggled to a 6th. Mass Maritime stepped up to take second and SUNY came third.

URI quickly regrouped to win race 3 convincingly while Navy suffered a 5th. Mass posted another second and Coast Guard a third. For the final race of the day, Navy got the jump at the start and extended for their second victory of the day while URI again had to recover from a poor start but got back to 3rd. Coast Guard was second again while Mass suffered an 8th.

At the end of the day, Navy led with 10 points, clear of URI and 5 ahead of Coast Guard and Kings Point who were tied with 15. Mass is 2 points further back at 17..

October 20:
While yesterday’s conditions tested the tactical and physical finesse of each team, today started out with 14 knots and slowly built to the mid 20s as the remnants of Tropical Storm Nestor passed through the region unleashing significant rain which compelled teams to transition their technique to the brute force side of the game.

For race 5, first of the day, a big left shift came in soon after the start causing a skewed weather leg that only the crews who were OCS managed to sniff out. Visibility was reduced in rain and most boats hit the left hard only to find themselves hung out to dry and overstood by a considerable distance. Webb made the best of it and led the race wire to wire with KP giving chase and taking 2nd. Navy stayed somewhat in touch and got back to a 3rd while URI got the worst of it and could only get back to 7th.

For race 6, the wind built to the high teens and the RC imposed a no genoa sail limitation. Navy reveled in the conditions and punched out to a commanding lead all the way around while Mass Maritime posted a strong 2nd and URI took 3rd. For the finale, the breeze piped up into the low 20s and the soaked and weary crews were happy to see the no spinnaker restriction imposed along with no genoas.

Most teams also tucked reefs in their mains to keep their boat manageable. Again, Navy took advantage of their familiarity with the boats and seized the lead at the start which they didn’t relinquish, giving them the overall title. Coast Guard came from behind to pass Mass Maritime on the second beat and take second, elevating them to 2nd overall for the regatta. Mass finished 3rd while URI stumbled to a 5th dropping them to 3rd overall.

Complete results:

Source: Jahn Tihansky Regatta Chair

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