NEW LONDON, Conn. – Facing their toughest competition of the year, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy female sailors gained valuable experience at the NEISA Reed Trophy, the New England Women's Championship. In a regatta that included New England's finest women's sailing programs—with 10 NCAA Division-I universities, including five Ivy League teams—the Buccaneers finished 17th.
A young squad of Mass Maritime ladies arrived at the United States Coast Guard Academy to compete in the New England Women's Dinghy Championship. Maya Stephani and Sydney Clays represented the Bucs in A Division while Megan Laurie and Rachel McKeown sailed in the B. The ladies, none of which have sailed more than two seasons at the university level, were led by Head Dinghy Coach Matt Wordell.
Racing started promptly at 11 a.m. on Saturday in a very shifty northwesterly breeze. On top of the difficult wind, the water in the river Thames was ripping out to sea making the racing that much more challenging. Several starts were abandoned and races had to be pushed back to 2:15 after only three were completed.
Sunday was even lighter and the current remained. In total, nine races were sailed in both divisions. In the end, the Buccaneers faced off against 16 universities throughout New England, each with their top women sailors representing them. Though there were a smattering of finishes off the bottom, in the end, MMA had to settle for 17th in the loaded regatta.
The top 11 teams qualified for the National Championships, headlined by victorious Boston College at 73 points. Yale University was the only other program under 100 points, totaling 95. The highest-rated D-III program was MIT at 123, with only one other university from the level finishing with less than 175 points.
Though Laurie and Clays competed in the Co-Ed championships on the 28th and 29th and McKeown and Stephani sailed at Rhode Island in the Southern Series, the next women's regatta for the Bucs will be the Mattapoisett around the Bay on June 9th.
Full results of the Reed Trophy can be found here. Make sure to bookmark www.mmabucs.com for more on sailing at MMA and get the inside scoop on Facebook and Twitter @mmabuccaneers. Plus, check out our new Instagram @massmaritimebuccaneers.
Gabriel Fidler, Sports Information Associate, with copy from Matt Wordell, Head Dinghy Coach