Navy wins 2021 McMillan Cup
Published on October 17th, 2021
The 2021 McMillan Cup Regatta, the oldest collegiate sailing event, attracted nine schools for the keelboat competition on October 16-17 in Annapolis, MD. Using the Navy 44 Sloops, fickle weather on the first day allowed for only two races with better condition on the day two completingr three races. The US Naval Academy, which won in 2019, took the title with skipper Gary Munsell, Meade Tolen, Teagan Foley, Lauren Breitinger, Kelly White, Joey Zaladonis, Maddy Ploch, and Langston Goldenberg.
Report by Regatta Chair Jahn Tihansky:
Nine teams are on hand at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis to vie for the McMillan Cup, ICSA’s MAISA/NEISA Big Boat Championship being sailed aboard the Academy’s Navy 44 sloops.
After a delightfully sedate evening of practice Friday, actual regatta conditions today proved a lot more challenging with solid southerly breeze between 17 and 22 knots and 3-4 foot waves.
With a strong weather front approaching from the west, the race committee was anxious to get in some races ahead of the weather.
They managed to run two races selecting 4 leg windward/leeward courses at a leg distance of 1.2 miles and sail limitation prohibiting use of #1 genoas but giving the green light on using spinnakers.
In race one, Mass Maritime Academy started strong working the right side and led all the way around. Both NY Maritime and Navy opted to start with a reef in their mains, skirmished with each other at various times and finished 2, 3.
For race 2, the same course axis, leg length and sail limitations were used. But this time, the fleet was much more even coming off the start line with most boats working out to the left knowing that excess tacking can be brutal in these conditions. A nice left shift arrived near the top of the first beat in time to allow Navy to pop into the lead and round first. Mass rounded a close second while NY Maritime was right behind in third, positions they held down the run. The lead boats opted to turn right at the lee gate and play the left again while URI turned left and dug in course right. Near the top of the second beat, the wind phased right allowing URI to pass Mass and take a good chunk out of Navy’s lead.
URI attacked Navy on the run but were unable to get close enough to make a pass. Navy finished the race in first with URI second and Mass third.
After finishing, the RC send the fleet scurrying towards home as the sky to the west was darkening quickly, ending racing for the day.
The front should be clear by the morning and a fresh northwesterly is expected to provide more exciting racing to complete the series.
At the end of day one, Navy sits tied for first with Mass Maritime each with four points while NY Maritime is three points back in third.
Day 2 of the McMillan Cup broke right on forecast with clear skies, bright sun, cool temps and a blustery northwesterly breeze.
For the first race of the day, the race committee set a 4 leg course in the Bay Ridge bight between Tolly Point and Thomas Point. Wind from this direction is usually shifty and today was no exception. On the first upwind, the left corner was the place to be despite the ebbing current. Kings Point arrived first with URI right on their heels and led to the leeward gate as well. Up the second beat, Navy worked the middle left playing the shifts and managed to pass both KP and URI to take the lead. As the fleet rounded the 2nd weather mark, the wind built to the upper 20s making for an exciting last leg complete with a wild broach and a lot of white knuckles. Navy extended to take the win while URI passed KP to take second and KP held on for third.
For the second race of the day (4th of the series), the race committee added the additional sail restriction of no spinnakers compelling everyone to bring out their wing on wing skills.
Navy got off the line clean and led race 2 wire to wire with URI again in second and Coast Guard showing their potential by taking third.
For the fifth and final race, the course and sail restrictions remained the same. The wind phased left big soon before the gun and Navy found themselves at the boat end looking at transoms. However, they recognized the shift and got onto the lifted port tack quickly while the rest of the fleet extended left. Patience paid off and the wind came back right allowing Navy to cross the fleet and lead at the windward mark after which they extended further to take another bullet and the regatta. URI continued to demonstrate their strength carding another second while Coast Guard pulled off another third.
Navy’s crew included skipper seniors Gary Munsell, Meade Tolen, Teagan Foley, Lauren Breitinger and Kelly White along with juniors Joey Zaladonis and Maddy Ploch plus freshman Langston Goldenberg.
Thanks to all who helped make this year’s regatta a tremendous success including Navy Offshore Sailing Team’s group of volunteers which included Fleet Captain Frieda Wildey, NASS RC members Bill Museler, Ed Kee, Bill Levatino, Jan Richardson, Maureen Mills and NASS RC Chairman Tom Stalder. Also due thanks are the volunteer coaches who served as safety officers aboard each boat. These included Glendon Bartlett, Ken Schneider, David Andril, Jay Corcoran, Don Worm, Matt Baker, Duane Geruschat, Nelson Pemberton and Bill Krafft. Last but not least is our jury led by Chief Judge Dan Trammell and his panel including Maureen Mills and Nelson Pemberton.
Also earning kudos are Offshore Sailing Team assistant coaches Pete Carrico and Erin Sprague as well as maintenance technician Dan Mullervy who assisted on the water as well as Saturday night making repairs to the fleet.
Next intercollegiate event at Navy Offshore will be the Kennedy Cup 6 & 7 November.