Boothbay sailors qualify for junior championships

Thu, 07/12/2018 - 8:30am

Day three of the Northeast Junior Olympic Festival at Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club saw the race committee taxed again with a shifting breeze reorienting the course several times. Able to get three races off before the 2:30 p.m. deadline made for nine races altogether and a strong challenge to the competitors. 

SailMaine's Catherine Morrissette and Eric Heilshorn took the top two spots in the singlehanded Laser Fleet and will be going to the Chubb National Championships in Lasalle, Michigan August 6-10.  Northeast Harbor Fleet's Terra Erhart and Mark Brunsvold, qualified in the C420 fleet with a 1 point victory over hometown favorites Ella Beauregard and Hamilton Barclay. Both pairs of sailors also qualify for the Chubb regatta. For Beauregard and Barclay it is their first trip to the junior national championship regatta.

Puffy northerly winds greeted the racers on the course with the wind expected to clock to the right through midday. During the first race the wind presented challenges as it was not uniform with puffs and lifts along the Burnt Island shore and steadier breeze on the opposite side of the course to the east. Getting clear air was paramount and Connor and Christopher Macken from SailNewport saw it early and were able to run the line starting at the pin and tacking over to port quickly.  They rounded the weather mark first with Erhart and Brunsvold chasing them down for the win on the last leeward leg. Beauregard and Barclay fought back from rounding the weather mark in 9th to finish 5th which became their drop race. The Macken boys finished 2nd in races 7 and 8 finishing 12th overall.

In the second race the wind shifted east northeast to 50-70 degrees and softened to 3 knots by the finish. Grant Adam and Sam Bradley of Pleon Yacht club took 1st with Erhart and Brunsvold taking 3rd and Barclay and Beauregard finishing 4th. 
In the last race of the series, the wind had shifted yet again to 130 degrees and the race committee further reoriented the course so the weather mark was between Fisherman's Island and Burnt Island. Beauregard and Barclay saw a shift and immediately port tacked the fleet and were launched well ahead of their 50 competitors.  The race was theirs and was never in question.  What was in question was how many places they would finish ahead of series leader's Erhart and Brunsvold who now had a 1 point lead on the local sailors.  
Erhart and Brunsvold rounded the weather mark in 7th, passed one boat on the leeward leg, passed another on the next windward leg, rounding the last weather mark in 5th place, needing to get to 2nd to win the series.  They sailed high on the downwind leg rolling the three boats ahead of them to finish second almost four minutes behind Beauregard and Barclay.  It was thrilling to watch.  Just one point separated the top two boats and Terra Erhart gets her name on the Maine State C420 Championship trophy for the second year in a row.  
Racing continues today as Hamilton Barclay defends the Maine State Optimist Champion trophy in his home waters. Racing concludes Friday.