Mount Desert Island club sailing team members Hutchin Gerrish, left, and Connor Ratcliff sail Saturday in Casco Bay at the Calendar Islands Regatta hosted by SailMaine. PHOTO COURTESY OF KEVIN FAHRMAN, FORESIDE PHOTOGRAPHY

MDI sailors third at Calendar Islands

PORTLAND — The club sailing team from the Mount Desert Island Community Sailing Center finished third of twelve teams Saturday in the Calendar Islands Regatta hosted by SailMaine.

MDI finished with 52 points, behind host and winner Southern Maine High School (a conglomerate team) with 22 points and Falmouth with 38 points.

“Our core varsity team has got it within their grasp to get first place,” Coach John Macauley said Monday. “Among the teams in Maine, we’ve got two teams we can overcome and two teams that are gonna be very tough to overcome.”

Sailing this week were Chris Booher, Connor Ratcliff, Hutchin Gerrish, Alec Fisichella and Lucas Ingebritson.

“It was really windy at the beginning,” Ratcliff said. “There were some capsizes. Hutchin and I ending up swamping the boat once, so we had to capsize to get the water out. It wasn’t that dramatic, but it wasn’t ideal.”

The wind gradually died down, but the waves stayed. By 2 p.m. the wind had turned shifty and gusty, which was challenging.”

The MDI boat had one second-place finish on the day and several thirds. They were in the top four in all but a few of the 12 races.

Last week, the team travelled to Burlington, Vt., to participate in the Fall Fleet race hosted by the Northern Vermont High School Sailing Team. Over the course of two days, MDI claimed 9 first-place finishes to win the regatta.

They were one of only two teams from Maine at the event.

Lake sailing was a different animal, Ratcliff said. “The races were all really close to shore,” he said, “so there were lots of wind gusts coming from town.”

Up next, MDI is set to compete in the Greenwave Classic on Oct. 17, the Bulldog Classic on Oct. 24 and the Ghosts and Goblins regatta on Oct. 31. All are SailMaine events in Portland.

Having Coach Liana Folger of the Northeast Harbor Sailing School on board has been a game-changer.

“Liana definitely has been helping us with our boat speed, with being faster in general,” Ratcliff said. “As a team, we’re looking forward to building on what we already know. We’re putting some good scores up and doing the best we can.”

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.

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