Boothbay sailors miss in Mass. but command in Castine

Posted:  Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 2:45pm

Boothbay scholastic sailors traveled to Lake Massapoag in Massachusetts Saturday to compete in the Gleekman Regatta, the final qualifier for the Atlantic Coast Championship. Competing against 15 teams from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont and Maine they fell two points short of qualifying. With temperatures rising to the 60s and diminishing wind, the race committee was able to get three races in both A and B Divisions, enough for an approved regatta before the wind shut off completely Saturday afternoon.

Boothbay’s third attempt at qualifying ended like their first at Bowdoin College in September with the young team falling just short of qualifying for the November Championships. The shifty winds tested the sailors’ abilities to sense where wind was coming from and keep what little air they had clear. Boothbay’s Alton Coolidge, Nate Rideout, Ella Beauregard and Hamilton Barclay left well before dawn to arrive at host Sharon High School’s venue by 9 a.m. None of the Boothbay sailors had ever sailed on such a small lake.

With 15 teams on the line vying for one qualifying spot, ardent competition between teams was evident from the start. Boothbay sailors Ella Beauregard and Hamilton Barclay took second in the first race, won the second race, and were leading the third race when a 60 degree shift a few yards from the final weather mark put the pair behind eventual regatta winners, Fairfield Prep. B Division sailors Alton Coolidge and Nate Rideout sailed well finishing 9th, 2nd, and 4th. Fairfield Prep took the lead on that last race edging out the BRHS team with 18 points to Boothbay’s 20 and qualifying for the Atlantic Coast Championships in November.

Monday, the team traveled to Castine for the second Pen Bay League regattas against Rockland, Islesboro, and Mount Desert Isle high schools. This competitive series is designed to get as much sailing in a day as possible. The sailors know each other’s strengths and weaknesses which makes for sporty boat-handling. Islesboro’s three season win streak is at risk as the BRHS team won the opening regatta at Rockland Oct. 1. A repeat win for the Seahawks would bring the team a commanding lead into their home regatta Oct. 21.

A 10-12 knot northerly greeted the competitors with brilliant Fall sunshine at the Maine Maritime Academy facilities. The wind began softening and arriving in pulses. As the morning progressed the wind also backed to the west and diminished. Four races were run before a short lunch break with the Islesboro and Boothbay teams separated by four points. Boothbay sailors switched crews for the last two races and picked up five points over Islesboro in a southwesterly breeze of four knots for a four-point win. Seven sailors from BRHS competed including Della Hahn, Toby Clarkson, Kate Wickline, Alton Coolidge, Nate Rideout, Ella Beauregard, and Hamilton Barclay.

The team competes next Saturday in the Cape Classic Gail Winds Regatta at SailMaine. Spinnakers will be flying in October as the team prepares for the Halloween Howl regatta in Newport.

The BRHS sailing team is supported by the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club and the BHYC Junior Program Foundation.