Loyola College brought intercollegiate sailing to the Inner Harbor for the first time this weekend, as host of a two-day regatta for 10 Mid-Atlantic schools.
"This is going to be a great venue for college sailing," said Dan Winters, 10-year sailing coach of Virginia's Christopher Newport University. "Certainly we are not going to miss one of these."
The 22-race event, held off the Baltimore Marine Center in Canton, mixed the racers in their frisky, 13-foot white-hulled Flying Juniors with the passing cruisers, power boats and water taxis, but there were no major incidents.
Borrowing three boats from the UMBC sail team, Loyola's part-time sailing coach, Thomas Burkett, was able to stage an impressive first-time regatta.
"It takes organization," said Burkett who also teaches bio-technology and genetics at CCBC-Catonsville. "It's not an easy thing to organize such an event. We got a good turnout. Everybody likes the venue, and they think the racing has been good. I'd give myself a B or a B-. We will get better by doing more of them."
On the water yesterday, everything went smoothly as the teams of young sailors - most partnered in co-ed crews - raced round the buoys in a shifting breeze without a single protest being lodged.
Watching his club team, in its eighth year and clearly not destined to be among the winners, Burkett wondered aloud what happened to the home-waters advantage.
"My kids sail here more often than anybody else," he mused. "But they did some things today and yesterday that they should have known better.
"It's all about tactics and strategy. You must sail consistently. With so many races, you don't try to win them all. You just try to place in the top four or five. You can win a regatta without ever winning a race.''
Loyola A division skipper Chad Rutherford, with Courtney Maher as crew, crossed the line before the start of one race, and had to circle back to re-start, forcing them to chase the wakes of the other boats.
Loyola wound up eighth in the regatta.
Georgetown University, which has one of the strongest sailing teams in the area, won. Queen's University, of Ontario, came in second, and the Eastern Shore's Washington College, finished third.
Team results (low-point scoring in parenthesis)
1. Georgetown, 67; 2. Queen's University, Canada, 68; 3. Washington College, 84; 4. Christopher Newport University, 99; 5. UMBC, 103; 6. Navy, 115; 7. George Washington, 162; 8. Loyola, 164; 9. Fordham, 189; 10. Salisbury State, 204; 11. University of Virginia, 217.