High school sailors learn by teaching


The Mount Desert Island Community Sailing Center summer 2014 staff included many former and current MDI High School sailors.

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Many Mount Desert Island teenagers who love to sail spend their summers sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm with younger kids at local sailing camps and programs.

“If you can teach something, then you really know it,” Seal Harbor Yacht Club sailing master Henry Ogilvie said.

MDI High School senior Anita Wray has spent several summers teaching sailing at Seal Harbor. “She did a wonderful job with the younger kids and the racing-level kids,” Ogilvie said. “She stepped up into a position of authority” as a senior instructor this summer, he said.

On Aug. 12, Seal Harbor hosted one of four major regattas this summer to include 420 and Optimist classes sailed by kids and teens. Many older teens have been sailing in the Luders and IOD fleet race series as well.

Over at the Bar Harbor Yacht Club, which operates a sailing camp in conjunction with the MDI YMCA, three members of the high school sailing team served as instructors. Senior Rebecca Gerrish and sophomores Hutchin Gerrish and Kincaid MacCulloch have all spent many years sailing on Frenchman Bay and enjoyed teaching.

The Northeast Harbor Sailing School, housed at the Northeast Harbor Fleet, has three alums of the MDI team including director Liana Folger. Solomon Krevans and 2014 grad Lily Lichtenstein taught this summer.

In Southwest Harbor, the MDI Community Sailing Center is home base for the high school team in the fall and spring seasons. Four current team members volunteered or taught there this summer. “The sailing center has become their happy place, and it shows!” sailing center director Glenn Squires said.

MDI alums Rowan Fraley, Ian Campbell and Sean Beaulieu teach sailing to youths and adults at the Sailing Center. Juniors Pierce Vicenty and Chris Booher and sophomores Connor Ratcliff and Griffin Costello-Sanders all worked as staff or volunteers.

“For the last twelve years, 90 percent of our staff has consisted of college and or high school students who either learned to sail with us as youth in our summer programs and or as part of the MDI High School sailing team,” Squires said. “Our ability to cultivate and keep these kids involved has allowed our programs to grow. They all hand on their love for the sailing center and the sport of sailing to the next generation. They all work very hard each summer taking hundreds of kids on the ocean for nine weeks straight, and they do it with a smile.”

The sailing center also hosts U.S. Sailing instructor training courses.

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.