Boothbay sailors end season with impressive win
Boothbay Region Sailing Club (BRSC) hosted the last fall regatta in Maine Nov. 4 with an impressive win. Nine Boothbay sailors competed in the two-person C420 regatta run on new courses against sailors from Rockland, Portland, and Greely high schools. Power outages caused teams from MDI and Isleboro to cancel. However, teams from Portland and Greely high schools, which had never sailed at Boothbay, arrived Saturday morning ready for the Last Blast Regatta. Team members and their families welcomed the arriving sailors with breakfast snacks.
The sailors were also greeted by clear skies, temperatures in the 40s, and gusty winds from the northwest/north in the 12-14 knot range. Team members prepared boats, which had been stripped of rigs and sails in anticipation of the previous Halloween weekend storm. A new course was debuted as well as the no-break format used by the Pen-Bay League to increase races and minimize time between races.
Boothbay had practiced the new course for this regatta. 2016 Olympic Nacra Sailor Louisa Chafee demonstrated the course during the Boothbay Spring Break Clinic in April. Now designated “the Chafee Special,” the course has two in-line weather marks and a start/finish line that doubles as a leeward gate. Sailors find the new course challenging with alternating leeward gate and single mark roundings.
Ella Beauregard of Lincoln Academy and Hamilton Barclay of Boothbay Region Middle School continue to improve their boat handling and ability to read shifts. However, starts sometimes prove difficult for the pair as the find themselves working their way through the fleet on the first leg. The pair often excel with efficient roll tacks in shifty conditions allowing the boat to sail a narrower angle to the mark. Beauregard and Barclay had to come from behind to win races 1, 3, 6, and 7. In race 8, the Rockland boat skippered by Elliot Spear with Alton Reed as crew won the start and never relinquished the lead while covering Boothbay in the north shifting breeze. Spear and Reed built a commanding lead by the finish. The Boothbay boat finished with a near perfect day (1,1,1,1,1,1,1,2) with 9 points in eight races.
The Boothbay team has plenty of depth. Freshman Nate Rideout of Boothbay Region High School, and senior co-captains Nate Graves and Nolan Conlin, also of Boothbay, push each team member to excel. With three strong boats the Boothbay team will be competitive in spring team racing.
Rideout and Graves finished in a three-way tie for second place, losing the tiebreaker to Rockland and Greely’s A boats. “The Nates sailed very well,” commented Rockland Coach Patrick Dillala. They finished with 32 points (4,2,5,4,4,6,2,5).
Conlin, with crew Toby Clarkson, led most of the first race only to see teammates slip by in the last hundred feet or so. Senior Conlin demonstrated his leadership ability taking it in stride and congratulating all teammates on their good races. Conlin had Clarkson crew for two races and Kate Mason of Center for Teaching and Learning, crew for six races. Conlin took fifth place just three points behind with 35 second place finish (2,4,6,3,7,4,3,6).
Boothbay 8th grader Henry Currier skippered a fourth boat for five races with Lincoln’s Adam Sirois as crew. Homeschooled 6th grader Toby Clarkson skippered the last three races with Sirois as crew. The fourth boat came in 8th with 67 points (8,10,11,8,6,10,6,8)
The BRSC Sailing Team is sponsored by the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club and the BHYC Junior Program Foundation and is open to young sailors from any school or homeschooled in the Boothbay/Midcoast region.