ELLSWORTH — The Mount Desert Island High School fall sailing season came to an end last weekend with a strong performance at the Ranger Rally in Portland.
Hosted by Greely High School in Cumberland, the promotional regatta — the results don’t count in the New England Schools Sailing Association standings — drew 17 teams from a dozen
secondary schools in Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts. Sailing against tough competition, the Varsity 1 team from MDIHS finished third in fleet overall.
According to Trojan coach John Macauley, 10 sleepy sailors boarded the bus in Southwest Harbor early Saturday morning for the long ride to the Portland Sailing Center for the team’s last regatta of the season.
Saturday was the day before the MDI Marathon, so the Harbor House bus the team was using to get to the regatta was bedecked with signs relating to the marathon, including one addressing runners who were unable to finish.
“We are sorry that your race did not go as planned,” it read.
When Macauley picked up the bus early Saturday, he said he “found the signs hilarious, and a bit portentous given that we were heading to our own race in Portland.”
When they arrived, they were greeted by perfect weather — plenty of sun and a 10-knot westerly breeze. Throughout the day, constant wind shifts and changes in wind speeds challenged the fleet.
They ran 12 races, six each for an A-division and a B-division on each team.
“The pin was favored all day, a nice change and therefore various tactics developed with very challenging starts and tight groupings,” the regatta hosts said. “Watching the fleets split and come back together is always exciting.”
The MDI 1 team had Joe Minutolo and Addison LeClair in the A-division boat and Nate Ingebritson and Louise Chaplin sailing in the B boat.
That team had “fairly consistent finishes across the board,” Macauley said, including a bullet from the B boat in the second to last race and several top-four finishes.
For MDI 2, Sofie Dowling and Matilda Allen sailed in A and Sylvester Mays and Icha Caronge sailed in B. Patrick Hall and Rowen Schoff rotated into the MDI 2 B boat later in the day.