Annapolis to Newport Race News

Academy Grad Mary Cox ’13 and Her Heroic Night In the Rigging

On its first offshore race and only the 2nd race since its commissioning 3 weeks ago, the J/122 Orion owned by Paul Milo finished at 0056.25 this morning after experiencing an extended knockdown situation just south of the Patuxent River. After the first 6 hours of great sailing in heavy air, during a takedown at 2200H the chute wrapped around the head stay and the boat was knocked down and stayed on its side with the keel out of the water for close to an hour. The crew spent a good 30 minutes working out a plan as to how to proceed safely when the plan of action was formulated and crew member Mary Cox, a class of 2013 graduate of the US Naval Academy, went up the rig and cut away enough of the spinnaker to allow the boat to right itself. With Mary now at the top of the rig with the boat vertical, additional sail was cut away and with a brief trip down to the deck for a break, Mary went up one more time to release the balance of the chute still wound in to the head stay and then it was back to business as usual. The crew was safe and knuckled down to try and make up what turned out to be a drastic loss of time having been the class leader prior to the knockdown and post the incident finding themselves about 12 miles behind. They made up time and were back with their class by the time they reached the Light tunnel. Orion’s team did a great job making sure Mary was as safe as possible during the maneuver and she enjoyed the experience of driving most of the balance of the race from Block Island to Newport and over the finish line.

The Service Academy boats compete for a set of trophies. Some of the boats raced in the IRC Division, some in the PHRF Division. They were re-scored using PHRF ratings for all of the boats. Flirt, one of the older of the two Navy 44’s sailing, won the trophies. The skipper was Jonathan Driesslein, navigator, Nick Tucker.

Posted Tuesday, June 11 @ 5:14 p.m. by the Annapolis Yacht Club


© 2012 United States Naval Academy Alumni Association & Foundation