Desert Island High School sailor Kevin Elk, right, and Connor Ratcliff (not pictured) lead the pack around a mark on the team racing course at Saturday’s Hospice Regatta hosted by Rockland Community Sailing. PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID LYMAN

MDI sailors sweep Hospice Cup



ROCKLAND — The Mount Desert Island High School Sailing Team cruised to a win at the inaugural Hospice Cup team-race regatta hosted by The Apprenticeshop in Rockland on Saturday, May 7.

The round-robin team racing competition that lasted over six hours saw five teams of sailors with three boats each on the water in 420 class racing dinghies.

There was a moderate breeze from north-northeast for most of the morning, becoming lighter in the afternoon.

According to MDI Assistant Coach John Macauley, the sailors, gathered under a lowering sky, listened to the race director’s advice that team racing is an art and they should go out and paint some masterpieces. “They [MDI] painted some awfully pretty pictures,” he said

The winning MDI team. From left, Connor Ratcliff, Kevin Elk, Kincaid MacCulloch, Chris Booher, Chloe Vincenty, Lilly Anderson and Alec Fisichella. PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID LYMAN

The winning MDI team. From left, Connor Ratcliff, Kevin Elk, Kincaid MacCulloch, Chris Booher, Chloe Vincenty, Lilly Anderson and Alec Fisichella. PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID LYMAN

The Trojans sailed three teams: Chris Booher and Chloe Vincente; Connor Ratcliff and Kevin Elk; and Kincaid MacCullough and Lily Anderson. They won all 12 races.

In three rounds of 10 races, “there was a lot of opportunity for great racing,” MDI head Coach George Deans said. “And it was great racing.”

In team racing, it is “tactics and strategies that win races,” which he said was the case on Saturday.

The Trojan sailors faced some good boat handlers. The four other teams from Boothbay, Islesboro, Camden Hills and Rockland pushed them hard.

“[MDI] got out and sailed on several occasions only to get things together on the third and final leg of the digital “N” course,” said Deans. “There were some very close and exciting finishes.”

The experience that the Trojan sailors have gained from previous team racing regattas this season, along with their preparation in practice so far, was evident in this inaugural event, according to Deans.

“The team really came together over this event and demonstrated their ability to think as a team, which is what, as you might expect, team racing requires,” added Macauley.

The nearly $6,000 raised from the regatta will benefit Coastal Family Hospice Volunteers.

The MDI varsity team is now preparing for the Downeast Championship Regatta set for Saturday, May 14, and Sunday, May 15, at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, which hosts sailing teams from all over New England.

Amanat Khullar

Amanat Khullar

Amanat Khullar is a sports reporter for the Mount Desert Islander. She comes from New Delhi, the capital city of India and graduated from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.