Members of the Mount Desert Island High School sailing team prepare to race George Stevens Academy in a scrimmage last Wednesday at the MDI Community Sailing Center. This coming weekend, the Trojans compete in the prestigious O’Day regatta at Pleon Yacht Club in Marblehead. PHOTO BY LIZ GRAVES

Trojan sailors gear up for O’Days

PORTLAND — The Mount Desert Island High School sailing team varsity and JV squads got their first look at Portland Harbor for the season at SailMaine regattas this weekend.

“It was a fantastic sailing weekend. We had great weather and nice wind for both days,” Coach George Deans said.

Saturday was the Cape Jamboree JV race, with 14 races in an A/B rotation format. Those who raced included Kirsten DiMauro, Pierce DiMauro, Madeleine Macauley, Spencer Kachmar, Peter Philbrook, Griffin Costello-Sanders and Nicole Brown. “We finished 6th out of 10 teams overall, with our best races giving us a two 4th place finishes,” Coach John Macauley said, “one for Kirstin and Mads, and one for Spencer and Peter.”

Top teams at the Jamboree were Falmouth with 27 points, Waynflete with 35 and Yarmouth with 36. Some varsity sailors from these programs competed in the JV regatta to get in the practice time. MDI was sixth with 87 points.

On Sunday, the varsity Trojans “faced a formidable group of sailors preparing for the O’Day Regatta this coming weekend in Marblehead,” Deans said. “Everyone there was focused on next weekend’s prize. We fell a little lower in the fleet, but all the sailors had the chance to get in valuable time on the water. Some moved from skipper to crew and back to give everyone a chance to learn new skills and help each other.”

The wind dropped off just before lunchtime when the tide was about to turn. The regatta broke for lunch, and when they returned around 1 p.m., the wind filled in and was steady for the rest of the day, Deans said.

“The afternoon provided great conditions, and our team did much better in the second half of the day. Tide played a factor on the line. It kept everyone honest at the start. It was difficult to hold position, so boat handling skills made for the best starts.”

The Trojans are excited to compete in the George O’Day regatta this weekend for the first time in several years. Preliminaries are held at Tabor Academy, Pettipaug Yacht Club, Pleon Yacht Club and the Hotchkiss School. The top four finishers at each venue on Saturday advance to the finals Sunday at St. George’s School in Newport, R.I.

MDI sails Saturday at Pleon Yacht Club in Marblehead, with most of the same sailors who were in Portland Sunday. “We are young, and this will be a chance for our sailors to see how the top competitors perform at this level,” Deans said.

Wednesday practice regattas continue, with one more set for Southwest Harbor on April 29 before the teams move to Maine Maritime Academy for Wednesdays in May. “We are seeing positive development in both teams,” Deans said. The team from Rockland may join in some of the practice races in May.

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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