Trojans challenge Portland in high-wind team racing

PORTLAND — The Mount Desert Island High School sailing team traveled to Portland Saturday morning for the Portland High School team race regatta at SailMaine near the former international ferry terminal. According to MDIHS coach John Macauley, the Trojans did well, considering the conditions.

“It wasn’t raining or snowing,” Macauley said in an email early Monday morning, but that was the good news.

“The wind was out of the Southwest at around 20 knots gusting to 25, which made for dicey conditions. It was definitely our kind of day.”

Conditions were dicey enough, Macauley said, that after sailing just a handful of races in the morning, regatta organizers called the boats in off the water for a “wind delay” that lasted until about 2:30 in the afternoon.

By that time, several teams, including those from Camden, Cheverus, Southern Maine and Cape Elizabeth, had packed it in for the day and gone home. The result was a long day of travel for a short day of sailing.

Team racing is a form of match racing, with two three-boat teams competing against each other. For Saturday’s heavy weather event, MDI had Lucas and Nate Ingebritson in Boat 1, Nate Philbrook and Louise Chaplin in Boat 2 and Jacob Peabody and Joey Minutolo in Boat 3.

In the morning, MDI had a bye in the first group of races, then faced off against Portland High School in the second three-race event.

“The team acquitted itself well,” Macauley said. Sailing against “what is arguably one of the best teams on the coast of Maine,” the Trojans split the first two races with the host team, then lost the third race “by a narrow margin.”

This coming weekend, MDI’s varsity sailing team will again travel to Portland on Saturday for another day of team racing hosted by Cheverus High School. The JV team will travel to Rockland on Sunday for a day of fleet racing at the ninth annual edition of the Breakwater Blast hosted by the Apprenticeshop community sailing program.

Also scheduled to race this year are the Rockland Community Sailing team and teams from Camden Regional High School and the Islesboro Central School.

May will be a busy month for Downeast high school sailors.

On May 11 and 12, the George Stevens Academy sailing team will return to competition, according to coach Andy Stephenson, when MMA and GSA host the annual Downeast Fleet Racing invitational regatta. Now in its 21st year, the event regularly draws high school teams from throughout New England. The regatta also serves as the Maine Schools Sailing Association championship event

Two weeks later, on Saturday May 25, the MDI Community Sailing Center will host its growing Great Harbor Regatta. Both the Trojans and the GSA Eagles are scheduled to be on the water for the fleet racing event.

Raced in the sailing center’s Turbo 420 dinghies, which differ slightly from the 420 dinghies sailed at MMA and in Portland, the fleet racing event is open to high school sailing teams from anywhere in New England.

Stephen Rappaport

Stephen Rappaport

Waterfront Editor at The Ellsworth American
Stephen Rappaport has lived in Maine for nearly 30 years. A lifelong sailor, he spends as much time as possible messing about in boats. [email protected]

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