SOUTHWEST HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island High School sailing team won the day Saturday in the third annual Great Harbor Invitational Regatta.
It was the best turnout yet for the event, with more than 100 teen sailors from 10 participating Maine and New Hampshire high school teams. The weather helped, too – warm sun and a moderate breeze from the southeast.
After 14 races, the MDI 1 team won the Glenn Squires Trophy with 38 total points. Only 17 points separated the next four teams: Rockland Community Sailing in second with 70 points, Mendums Seacoast Sailing Team (N.H.) in third with 79 points, George Stevens Academy in fourth with 83 points and Camden Hills in fifth with 87 points.
“MDI sailed well,” Coach George Deans said. “The results speak for themselves. I think we saved the best for last.”
The new Great Harbor Dream sailing pavilion off Greening’s Island provided a platform for spectators and easy rotations between races. The breeze allowed the day’s racing to proceed without many course changes. The windward mark was just west of Greening Island ledge, and leeward was in front of the Claremont Hotel.
“We did not need to change the course more than to adjust marks right or left for some small wind shifts,” Deans said.
Years of hard work and this season’s drills paid off in the day’s results for the host MDI sailors. “Although the incoming tide presented a challenge for much of the day, our sailors turned this to their benefit,” assistant Coach John Macauley said.
Chris Booher and Chloe Vincente sailed in the A boat for the MDI first team. Their two first-place and two second-place finishes gave them a score of 38. In the B rotation, Conner Ratcliff and Kevin Elk scored four first-place, two second-place and one third-place finish, for a score of 11.
“It was amazing to watch,” Macauley said.
MDI had a second team racing, with Kincaid Macculloch and Lilly Anderson in A, and Alec Fisichella, Lucas Ingebritson, Hutchin Gerrish and Grace Higgins alternating in B. Skippers MacCulloch and Gerrish each earned one third-place finish.
A large team of alumni, family and friends rallied to provide support for the large event. Steve Homer joined Deans on the race committee boat. Phil and Lily Lichtenstein, Kate St. Denis, Skip Strong and Will Ratcliff were on support boats. Andrea Gerrish coordinated donations and preparation of breakfast, lunch and dinner for the crowd.
This year’s Welles Cup regatta, traditionally an end-of-season celebration between MDI and GSA, is proceeding a bit differently, Deans said. The two squads decided to get together for a team-racing clinic, rather than a competition, on May 25 and June 1.