POLA Harbor Cup

POLA Harbor Cup

With one day of racing under their belts the fleet of the 2024 Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup regatta proved they were all up to speed: today the battle was on!

Following a brief postponement as the westerly settled in, the LAYC Race Committee commenced with the first race. Winds that began at eight to 10 knots built throughout the day and so did the sea state, with the RC lengthening the course to accommodate the increasing speeds.

With the top half of the fleet so closely matched, the leaderboard was in constant flux. By the end of today, having completed five grueling races in the stiff breeze and chop, three teams rose to the top. Univ. of Southern California leads with 27 points, US Naval Academy follows at 28, with Maine Maritime just one point astern. And several rivals remain within striking distance, with two races remaining tomorrow.

“The starts today were a little more aggressive; we had some very, very close ones but everyone minded pretty well,” said PRO and Race Chair Tom Trujillo. “And the last one was razor sharp, with everyone on the start line at once,” Trujillo impressed. He has a reputation for exacting race management and isn’t afraid to throw up the I flag: disqualifying any boat that’s OCS (over early).

 POLA Harbor Cup © Betsy Crowfoot

“The caliber of racing overall is great!” Trujillo added. “Univ. of San Diego went from last place in the first race, and retiring after that: to first place in the first race today, placing fairly well in the rest of the races. If there was an award for most improved team in 24 hours, they’d get it. This event really gives the sailors a chance to stretch their skills.”

After an inauspicious kick-off to the regatta – going AWOL for Races Two and Three to regroup and practice – the UCSD Tritons rebounded with a bullet in the opening race on Day Two. This event marked not only their first appearance at the POLA Harbor Cup regatta, but the debut of the school’s new offshore sailing team.

UCSD Coach Robert Capita noted the team has been making an effort to expand from racing FJ dinghies – typical college sailing fare – to larger race boats. “What began as a crew pool and other connections has resulted in UCSD team members slowly getting onto bigger keel boats in our area,” Capita noted, with a nod to the support of the recreational boating fleet in San Diego. “As the team’s interest grew, we began focusing more on getting as many resources as possible for our sailors,” getting berths on boats racing in the Hot Rum series, Beneteau Cup, National Offshore One Design, and other area regattas.

Since its inception in 2006 the POLA Harbor Cup has been recognized as one of the most prestigious big boat intercollegiate regattas in the nation. With just 10 spots available, leading academies and colleges strive for an invitation. The lineup typically consists of four east coast teams and four west coast teams, plus two ‘President’s picks.’ The POLA Harbor Cup will continue tomorrow Sunday, March 10 with hopes to execute a 10-race series.

This evening the coeds will be treated to a presentation by sailing icon Roy P. Disney, skipper of Pyewacket and winner of multiple races worldwide.

For more information on the POLA Harbor Cup go to www.layc.org/LAYC-harbor-cup for further information on the event. Up-to-the-minute results available here.

Pola Harbor Cup Results after Day 2:


USC 27
US Navy 28
Maine Maritime 29
Univ Hawaii 38
C of Charleston 39
Cal Poly 47
Cal Maritime 47
US Merchant Marines 59

by Betsy Crowfoot

Source: https://yachtboatnews.com/pola-harbor-cup/

Boat Lyfe