Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup 2010
Cal Maritime Invitational Intercollegiate Regatta

Organized by Los Angeles Yacht Club
San Pedro, Calif. March 12-14, 2010

The West Coast's only intercollegiate big boat regatta

Harbor Cup Starts Friday, March 12

San Pedro, Calif. — March 9, 2010 — Ten elite collegiate crews from the East Coast to Hawaii commence three days of racing Friday in the Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup/Cal Maritime Invitational Intercollegiate Regatta.

Led by double defending champion Maine Maritime Academy, it's the largest fleet yet for the event that took college racing in keelboats national only two years ago and just keeps getting bigger and better. Racing outside the harbor entrance off Point Fermin has been expanded from two days to three. 

A schedule of nine races, weather conditions permitting, will start at 3 p.m. Friday (preceded by practice racing), 11 a.m. Saturday and noon Sunday. Racing may be viewed from Point Fermin Park atop the bluff.

The Port of Los Angeles is the sponsor, California Maritime Academy of Vallejo, Calif. the inviting school and Los Angeles Yacht Club is the host and organizing authority. As host, LAYC charges no entry fees and provides housing for participants in members' homes or boats and meals at no charge.

Race chairman Jim Morgan said, "Without the efforts of numerous Los Angeles Yacht Club volunteers this regatta would not be possible. They're a dedicated group."  

Activity ashore will be highlighted by a Saturday night dinner featuring US Sailing President Gary Jobson as keynote speaker. Tickets are available at www.csum.edu

Maine's rivals will be Cal Maritime, Cal State Channel Islands of Oxnard, Chapman University of Orange County, U.S. Coast Guard Academy of New London, Conn., U.S. Naval Academy of Annapolis, Md., University of Hawaii, UC Davis from central California and the Merchant Marine Academy of Kings Point, N.Y., which replaced Northwestern University when the latter withdrew.

Each team will race with a crew of seven, male and female. They'll race for the three-foot-tall Deed of Gift Harbor Cup Perpetual Trophy.

Cal Maritime President Bill Eisenhardt said his school 
"is delighted to have been involved in establishing the only big boat intercollegiate sailing regatta on the West Coast. Our goal was to invite some of the best college teams from both coasts to compete head to head for the title of 'Best in the West'."

High ambitions from a low-key beginning.

Before moving to Cal Maritime, Eisenhardt was the Provost at Maine Maritime when Morgan's wife, Jill, was enrolled there.

Some time after Eisenhardt came to the California school they all got together at a quaint and legendary pub called Joe Jost's across the harbor in Long Beach and talked about developing intercollegiate competition on the West Coast.

"Jim and I dreamed this up over pickled eggs and beer at Joe Jost's one afternoon," Eisenhardt said.

A fleet of ideal boats---Catalina 37s chartered from the Long Beach Sailing Foundation---were readily available.

The only downside, Eisenhardt said, has been that "since Maine Maritime won the first regatta I have been continually hassled by all the 'Maine-iacs.' "

But this could be Cal Maritime's time. The Keelhaulers---college sailing teams have nicknames, too---appear to be at the top of their game. 

Maine's coach, Tom Brown, noted that while Cal Maritime placed fifth last year, it was only six points out of first place in a remarkably tight fleet and later last year went East to win the Kennedy Cup and the privilege to represent the U.S. in the annual Student Yachting World Cup in France this October.

"They've always been good," Brown said. "They had a great regatta at the Kennedy Cup. They were just there … fewer mistakes than anybody, and they sailed really, really well." 

Brown's team will return with the same skipper, Matt Bourke, but only about half of last year's crew. 

"I lost all my women [and] a lot of the guys are dinghy sailors that I'm trying to bring up to speed," he said. "But they had a great regatta at Storm Trysail … won four of the six races."

That regatta at Larchmont, N.Y. on Long Island Sound was sailed on J/44s. Brown likes the Catalina 37s, which although built for world-class match racing---like the Congressional Cup coming up two weeks later---have also become popular for fleet racing.      

"We would love to have a fleet of Catalina 37s," Brown said. "That would be a perfect size boat for Maine Maritime."

USC placed second to Maine the last two years.

"USC's always tough," Brown said. "Chapman got a lot better last year. Hawaii we don't know about, and I'll tell you who's gonna be tough, too—Coast Guard. It's gonna be a real tough regatta."

2009 Results  
(8 races; skippers noted)

1. Maine Maritime Academy, Matthew Bourque, 1-6-4-1-1-5-3-2, 23 points.  
2. USC, Chris Vetter, 4-5-1-2-7-1-6-3, 29. 
3. Cal State U. Channel Islands, Austin Dias, 6-4-3-4-5-4-2-1, 29. 
4. Chapman University, Max Moosman, 3-1-2-3-8-7-1-5, 30.  
5. California Maritime Academy, Paige Johnston, 2-2-6-9/DSQ-2-2-5-7, 35. 
6. U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Eric Johnson, 7-3-7-5-3-3-4-4, 36. 
7. U.S. Naval Academy, Andrew Poulin, 5-7-5-6-4-8-8-8, 51. 
8. Northwestern Univ., Tod Reynolds, 8-8-8-7-6-6-7-6, 56.