Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup victory close for Cal Maritime

Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup 2011
Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup 2011 - Cal Maritime Invitational Intercollegiate Regatta is organized by Los Angeles Yacht Club, San Pedro, Calif. and runs from March 11 to 13. It is the West Coast's only intercollegiate big boat regatta.

Here they are again, leading the fleet into the final day of the Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup/Cal Maritime Invitational Intercollegiate Regatta, so who's to say that good fortune won't favor the California Maritime Academy Keelhaulers this time rather than leaving them … keelhauled?

So what if their skipper, John Gray, has been on crutches all weekend and the memory of last year's collapse against USC remains vivid and painful, they are looking more like winners than anyone right now with a 15-29 lead over their nearest rival, the U.S. Naval Academy, and only two races remaining Sunday. There are no throwouts in the scoring, but Navy has a lot of points to make up.

'I would say we're pretty happy,' Gray said while hobbling onto the dock late Saturday afternoon, his right foot heavily wrapped, after driving the team to three firsts, two seconds and a conservative fifth in six races among the nine-boat fleet.

Winds were six knots building to 13 from southwest, and Cal Maritime handled it all.

At this report the final scoring depended on the outcome of protests---but nobody was protesting Cal Maritime.

Hawaii, the Naval Academy and defending champion USC also were vying for podium finishes, but Vallejo's lead seemed solid.

Whatever happens before the jury, Gray's injury won't keep him from sailing them, even if he may not be seen standing behind the wheel much.

'I squashed my heel pretty bad on a tire getting out of a moving car when we went out to dinner Thursday night,' he said, smiling sheepishly. 'I hop around on the boat and sit down when I can. But it's getting better every day.'

The strategy for Sunday?

'It's very important if you get a good start without being over early [because] you're sure to be in the top three at the top mark,' Gray said. 'But you can't push it too hard. We managed to get off the line in good position and stay clear of everybody today.'

Two races will be run on the final day Sunday, conditions permitting, starting at 11:30 (daylight saving time) on a windward-leeward race course west of the Angels Gate lighthouse outside the L.A. Harbor entrance. The racing may be viewed from Point Fermin Park at the end of Gaffey Street in San Pedro, an extension of the Harbor Freeway.

The event is sponsored by the Port of L.A. The Los Angeles Yacht Club is the organizing authority and California Maritime Academy of Vallejo is the inviting school for the West Coast's only intercollegiate big boat regatta.

Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup 2011

Standings
(8 of 10 races; pending protests)

1. Cal Maritime, 1-4-2-1-1-1-5-2, 15 points.
2. Navy, DNS-1-3-3-2-4-1-5, 29.
3. Univ. of Hawaii, 2-3-6-2-6-8-4-1, 32.
4. Cal State Channel Islands, 7-2-4-7-4-3-2-4, 33.
5. USC, 5-6-1-6-3-2-6-9, 38.
6. U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 3-8-7-5-DNF-5-7-3, 48.
7. SUNY Maritime Academy, 4-5-5-8-8-5-9-8-8, 52.
8. Maine Maritime Academy, 8-7-8-4-7-7-5-6, 5r2.
9. UC Santa Cruz, 6-9-9-8-8-6-9-7, 63.

The competitors

Calif. Maritime Academy
Vallejo, Calif.
John Gray, skipper; Kyle Vanderspek, Scott Doyle, Sarah Himes, Matthew Van Rensselaer, Sean Kelly, Andrew Lamb. Coach: Jesse Cartee

Cal State U. Channel Islands
Camarillo, Calif.
Greg Dair, skipper; Andrew Domingos, captain; Andrew Healey, Kevin Schallert, Cameron Demaranville, Hayley Bracken, Tim Fedderson, Lisa Marchand, alternate. Coaches: Nick de Rouhlac and Austin Diaz

Maine Maritime Academy
Castine, Maine
John Joseph, skipper; Rowan Fraley, tactician/main/; Matt Butcka, Andrew Bowden, Jake Newton, Gus Bispham, Zach Vickers, David Markley. Coach: Tom Brown

SUNY Maritime Academy
Throgs Neck, N.Y.
Taylor Walker, skipper; Dylan O’Malley-Joyce, Eric White, James Dempsey, Daniel McDonald, Owen Wing, Nick Berger. Coach: Russ O'Reilly

UC Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, Calif.
Michael Radziejowski, skipper; Andrew Cowely, Mike McCarthy, Conor Bescos, Jean Rutledge, Dan Ladd, Pat Boyden. Coach: None.

U. of Hawaii
Manoa
Zach Hester, skipper; James 'Fizz' Foster, Hannah Tusan Turner, Mike Hanson, Matt Wenner, Craig Schiffens. Coach: Jesse Andrews

U.S. Naval Academy
Annapolis, Md.
Emily Frost, skipper and tactician; James Prieto, helmsman; Ted Dempsey, Ben Rowe, Louis Henry, Patrick Tucker, Colin Nevins. Coach: Jahn Tihansky

USC
Los Angeles, Calif.
Max Hutcheson, skipper; Brock Kraebel, Erik Samuels, Danny Kivlovitz, Kelsey Rupp, Stephen Lue,
Jack Stein, Alessandro Sassoon. Coaches: Mike Segerblom, Glennon Stratton

U.S. Coast Guard Academy
New London, Conn.
Cameron Welicka, skipper; Katie Gilligan, Alex Lloyd, Kevin Knaup, Pete Harrington, Jordan Bogdan, Ben Williams. Coach: Doug Clark

Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup 2011