PORTLAND — The sailing team of Mount Desert Island High School had an outing here last Saturday for the George O’Day qualifying regatta that advances the top four finishers to the championship feet racing on Sunday at Brown University.
After two divisions sailing 10 races each, the Trojans finished eighth overall with 156 points in a 13-boat fleet.
“We had a great day and saw some fine sailing,” MDI head Coach George Deans reflected. “Our sailors never gave up and sailed hard the whole day.”
Sailing conditions were near perfect with abundant sunshine and a breeze of 8 to 10 knots. The winds were from the north-northeast all day with gusts reaching up to 20 knots.
Even though the afternoon winds slowed to a steady 7 knots, according to Deans, “the sailing was just as good and just as exciting with the lighter wind.”
Both teams from MDI sailed in the middle of the fleet for most of the six-hour sailing day and were evenly matched. “We are balanced in our skippers and crews,” said Deans.
For the first six races, team ‘A’ was skippered by senior Chris Booher with junior Connor Ratcliff in crew.
The Trojan ‘B’ boat was skippered by junior Kincaid MacCulloch and crewed by junior Spencer Kachmar.
“Both boats found themselves in very talented group of sailors,” said Deans, adding that the Trojans will see many of these sailors again in the Downeast Regatta for both state and New England championships, “so we know what we need to do to prepare.”
Deans said even though his squad notched a couple fourth and sixth-place finishes, it was apparent that the team was out of the running for a qualifying spot. After the first six races, “we substituted the extra sailors we took with us, and they did just as well as the starters, which speaks to our solid group of varsity sailors.”
Emma Strong was on crew for team ‘A’ in the next four races, finishing in the middle of the fleet. Lily Anderson replaced Kachmar as the crew for team ‘B’ and was followed by Connor Ratcliff and Alec Fisichella.
“The crew changes were largely a reflection of the changing conditions,” explained MDI Assistant Coach John Macauley. “They did a great job overall.”
Trojan sailors are set to compete at the Cheverus Cup – a fleet race regatta for junior varsity sailors – in Portland on Saturday, April 30.