Four young sailors represented the Mount Desert Island Community Sailing Center in Junior Olympics competition in the Opti class earlier this month in Boothbay Harbor. From left, Seth Dow, Cameron Graham, Riley Donahue and Alex Donahue. PHOTO COURTESY OF MARIA DONAHUE

Young MDI sailors score; Donahue, Ehrhart win gold

BOOTHBAY HARBOR – Mount Desert Island’s youth sailors had a strong showing earlier this month at the combined Maine State Championship and Junior Olympic (JO) Sailing Festival hosted by the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club earlier this month. They represented the MDI Community Sailing Center and Northeast Harbor Sailing School.

A first-place finish for Terra Ehrhart, 15, in 420 racing was a repeat accomplishment. At last year’s JO festival, she and her older brother Skye won the 420 competition.

This year Ehrhart, a rising junior at Riverview Academy in Sarasota, Fla., and MDI summer resident, sailed with high school teammate Mark Brunsvold. The Club 420 combination regatta was held July 9 to 11. It was a combination regatta of Maine State Championship, Junior Olympics and the area A Bemis Cup Qualifier for the Chubb Jr. Championships. Ehrhart and Brunsvold placed first in the regatta with 18 points in nine races.

“The competition was intense, as two regattas and a national qualifier were combined,” said Lisa Ehrhart, Terra and Skye’s mother.

After the 420 regatta came Opti competition July 12 and 13. Seth Dow, Cameron Graham, Riley Donahue and Alex Donahue represented MDICSC in Opti racing.

Mark Brunsvold and Terra Ehrhart, representing the MDI Community Sailing Center and Northeast Harbor sailing school, won first place in the C420 combined Maine State Championship and Junior Olympic (JO) Sailing Festival in Boothbay Harbor.

Fifty-seven Optis raced with three divisions, said parent Ryan Donahue: red fleet (ages 15 and under), blue fleet (ages 12 and under) and white fleet (ages 10 and under). There was also a green fleet composed of five beginner sailors.

Both days had very light winds, Donahue said, ranging from three to six knots.

The MDI group swept the first and second places in the white fleet. Alex Donahue, 9, took first place and a gold medal. He finished 19th overall. Cameron Graham, 10, won the silver medal for second place in the white fleet. He finished 37th overall.

Riley Donahue, 12, placed 3rd in Blue fleet taking home a bronze medal. He finished 10th out of 57 overall. Seth Dow, 11, placed 20th in blue fleet and 40th out of 57 overall.

“Our team from MDICSC had a wonderful time, learned a lot about racing in a big fleet, and showed great sportsmanship on and off the water,” Ryan Donahue said.

Skye Ehrhart, who has graduated from high school and aged out of junior sailing, helped coach the MDI 420 squad at the JO Festival this year. He plans to attend the College of Charleston in the fall and sail on the college’s team.

Terra Ehrhart works as a coach at MDCSC, helping support the Great Harbor Dream, an initiative to bring high school-aged sailors from all the MDI harbors together.

“Skye and Terra have been attending sailing school on MDI since the age of 5,” Lisa Ehrhart said. “We are extremely grateful for all of the funding and support that MDI, and the Great Harbor Dream has provided to make dreams come true.”


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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