Both the Naval Academy's Varsityy Offshore Sailing Team and its Intercollegiate Sailing Team distinguished themselves last weekend with impressive finishes in four regattas.
Perhaps most prestigious was a win for the offshore sailors in the Kennedy Cup Regatta, sailed in Annapolis in Navy 44 sloops among 10 teams from across the nation. It was the first Navy win in this event since 1990.
The Navy team was led by senior Oliver Vietor of Southport, Conn., whose sailing credits include last year's service as executive officer aboard the academy's Constellation on her winning race from Newport, R.I., to Bermuda.
The Kennedy Cup was due to begin on April 23, but the first day's racing was canceled because of winds gusting well over 40 knots virtually all day.
The next morning saw yet another postponement, this time for lack of wind, but two races eventually were completed that day in light southerlies that arrived in midafternoon.
By the end of the day Saturday, Navy and Dartmouth were tied for first with a first and a second each, with Harvard in third four points behind.
Sunday's relatively steady 10- to 15-knot southerlies permitted an additional three good races to complete the regatta.
With a second in the day's first race, Navy led the pack by a four-point margin, and quickly established control of the fleet in the second contest. But despite Navy's solid lead going into the final leeward mark, disaster struck as the boat found a large light-air hole and then emerged on the wrong side of a major wind shift.
The resulting ninth-place finish dropped the Navy team into a tie for third with Harvard going into the fifth and last race of the series, with Cornell leading and Dartmouth second.
"We came on strong and won the race, and the others had their bad races, so it all worked out," Vietor said of the final event.
Navy's secret for success was "experience and crew work," said Vietor.
"We've all sailed together for a while, and it was about time for us toput it together," he said. "Our starts were of a higher quality than the other times we've done this regatta. We kept our boat speed up, and we had good tactics, good communication."
Navy dinghy sailors win again
In other collegiate sailing last weekend, Navy's dinghy sailors of the Intercollegiate team won its second major intersectional in two weeks with an impressive victory by 130 points in the Thompson Trophy Regatta at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.
Navy junior Marc Schneider was first in the single-handed C division, and sophomore Ryan Cox and his crew, sophomore Lori Sterling and junior Todd Wilson, were first in the double-handed B division, and juniors Dave Fagen and crew Melissa Jackson and Fitz Gentry were second in the A division.
At St. Mary's College, site of the Mid-Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association Women's Championship, competition was intense as the 16 teams vied for a spot in the top three to guarantee eligibility for the Women's Nationals at St. Mary's at the end of May.
When the smoke cleared at the end of the nine-race series, St. Mary's was victorious by 12 points over Old Dominion, and Navy's women's team, which has been unranked nationally since All-American Susie Minton's graduation last year.
Among the women sailing for St. Mary's were Annapolitans Bell Hughes, first in A division, and Perry Reeves, second in B division, behind Old Dominion's Heidi Thoma of Severna Park.
Navy's skippers were junior Angela Luzier, second in A division, and freshman Jenny Greenough, third in B.
Navy's freshmen team also fared well, winning the MAISA Freshman Championship the same weekend at Old Dominion.
ODU was second and St. Mary's was third in that event.
SSA Spring Bowl
Last weekend also was a busy one at Severn Sailing Association, with the annual Spring Bowl regatta for Solings and International 14s.
Eleven teams in each class showed up for the two-day, four-race event, including a sizable contingent of Canadian I-14 sailors.
In the I-14 class, local sailor Bob Ames at second overall finished theregatta sandwiched between Canadian sailors Peter Hayward in first and Jorg Pawlik in third.
SSA Spring Bowl
International 14 (11 starters): 1. Peter Hayward, Canada, 3 pts. (1-1-1-1); 2. Bob Ames, Columbia, 13 pts. (3-3-4-3); 3. Jorg Pawlik, Canada, 14 pts. (2-8-2-2).
Soling (11 starters): 1. Howard Vickery, Weston, Conn., 10.5 (7-1-2-1); 2. Stuart Walker, Annapolis, 10.75 (1-3-3-4); 3. Ross Adams, NA, 14.75 (3-5-1-6).