Cal Maritime wins Kennedy Cup


Ten U.S. college teams competed in the Kennedy Cup, ICSA’s Big Boat National Championship held November 6-8 in Annapolis, MD.

Friday, November 6
PRO Tom Stalder ran two races today in a beautiful southerly that settled in at around 14-16 knots. Navy and SUNY Maritime nailed the left side in race 1 with Navy leading at the weather mark due to SUNY being a bit too conservative with their layline call. Navy led all the way while Cal Maritime picked their way past Charleston and SUNY to get second. URI was close behind in third.

For race 2, Cal and Navy hit the left hard and rounded 1st mark in that order with URI again, right behind. Navy managed to get on Charleston’s air near the bottom of the run to win the right turn gate but could not convert enough in the move to pass. Cal extended for the win with Navy 2nd and URI again 3rd. Queens University is lurking 2 points further back with two 4th place finishes. Three races are scheduled for tomorrow.

Saturday, November 7
The Kennedy Cup fleet motored out to the race course area this morning under overcast skies and calm conditions prompting co-PRO Bill Adams to hoist AP. Fortunately, the forecast was correct and the breeze filled in from the NW. After a short delay, race 3 got underway. SUNY led Navy at the first mark but Navy snuck past on the first run and extended for the win. SUNY held second while Maine Maritime found their mojo to grab third.

For race 4, the breeze built and the fleet pushed the line hard. 4 boats were OCS while only one returned to restart. However, the RC did not properly signal individual recall so after a hearing, the jury granted the OCS boats redress and awarded them their finishing positions giving both URI and Navy bullets for the race with SUNY second and Queens in third.

For race 5, the breeze abated and got pretty flukey. Cal started at the boat and tacked right while Navy and URI went left. The right filled in and Cal crossed ahead by a large margin which they held the rest of the way around. Navy found themselves at the losing end of a couple of skirmishes, elected to take an I flag and ended up on what became the unfavored right side resulting in an 8th plus the I flag penalty. Mass and URI got to the left which was now paying big and clawed up to second and third respectively for the race.

With the day’s dust finally settled, URI takes a 1 point lead into the final day over Navy and Cal Maritime who are tied. SUNY holds fourth, 8 points back.

Sunday, November 8
For the final two races of the 2015 Kennedy Cup, the weather gods could not have provided more ideal conditions for competitive, heart in your throat racing.

Today featured a classic medium velocity but dying northerly with a substantial ebb for the first race.

In this one, Michigan was left most boat and as a result was well ahead at the first mark and went on to win the race by a good margin. Cal got pushed right early and were well back but managed to get back left while Navy opted to cover URI who was closer on the middle right. The left continued to pay and Cal leapt to second for the race while Navy got back to a 4th, one spot behind Mass Maritime who were third leaving Cal 2 points up on Navy who were 3 ahead of URI.

For the final race, a three leg course was selected. The fleet pushed the line hard resulting in a general recall which was fortuitous for Cal who were closed out at the boat end.

For the restart, URI was best of the top 3 teams while Navy was second row with Cal working hard to push them further back. Navy and Cal were both suffering through bad air of boats ahead but Navy ultimately was able to squeeze off Cal to get a clear lane on the left. Meanwhile, Cal got tacked on and looked to be in trouble.

But as the fleet approached the weather mark, the right came in giving URI and Cal the advantage who rounded 2nd and 5th respectively with Navy in 6th. Navy managed to get by Cal and SUNY on the run while closing significantly on URI. Up the last beat, Navy stayed close with Cal while URI was forced course left at the gate. The right worked with Navy and Cal battling furiously.

In the end, Navy finished third but was unable to put the necessary boat between themselves and Cal. By staying close, Cal finished 4th to hang on and win the 2015 Kennedy Cup! Navy finished 1 point back in second with URI 6 points further back taking third.

Final Standings
1. California Maritime Academy, 21
2. U. S. Naval Academy, 22
3. University of Rhode Island, 28
4. SUNY Maritime College, 34
5. Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 41
6. Queen’s University, 42
7. College of Charleston, 42
8. Maine Maritime Academy, 48 48
9. University of Michigan, 56
10. U. S. Coast Guard Academy, 59

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