POLA Harbor Cup enters its 10th year of competitive intercollegiate sailing

Ten teams are competing in the upcoming Harbor Cup regatta hosted by LAYC.

SAN PEDRO — The Harbor Cup is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its intercollegiate sailing event March 10-12. The regatta, sponsored by the Port of Los Angeles (POLA), brings together sailing teams from colleges, universities and academies throughout the United States.

Intercollegiate sailing teams must make a formal request to participate, because this event is by invitation only. Participating teams must have at least one female and no more than seven crewmembers total.

This year, the 10 teams participating are Cal Maritime, College of Charleston, Cork Institute of Technology, Maine Maritime, Oregon State University, UC Santa Barbara, University of South Florida, USC, U.S. Coast Guard Academy and U.S. Naval Academy.

There are up to 10 races taking place over three days, with three constituting a regatta. Due to lack of wind on the final day of last year’s event, there were only nine races completed.

Last year’s sailing teams experienced rain, hail and winds up to 35 knots on the first day of the races. With the record rainfall Southern California has experienced recently, it will be interesting to see what the weather brings to this year’s event.

“College-level regattas are typically sailed in small one- or two-person dinghies in protected waters,” Betsy Crowfoot, event publicist, told The Log.

The POLA Harbor Cup provides a rare opportunity for young men and women to enjoy offshore racing in big boats with large competitive co-ed teams, Crowfoot conveyed.

“Races are held outside of the LA breakwater just past the iconic Angel’s Gate Lighthouse (weather permitting). The windward mark is usually set near beautiful Point Fermin west of the harbor entrance, where keen-eyed spectators can watch from ashore,” Crowfoot explained. “It is raced aboard a fleet of matched 37-foot Catalina sailboats, identically rigged and maintained to promote the fairest possible competition.”

POLA Harbor Cup Sailing Teams

The top three teams receive trophies. College of Charleston sailed into first place last year and was awarded the Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup Perpetual Trophy.

“In 2015, Cal Maritime had very narrowly defeated College of Charleston,” Crowfoot said.

In 2016, College of Charleston Cougars defeated the returning champions Cal Maritime.

It will be interesting to see which team will win the coveted trophy this year.

This year’s regatta is hosted by Los Angeles Yacht Club; its organizing authority is Intercollegiate Sailing Association.

(Bronny Daniels/Joysailing photos)

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