Boothbay sailors travel to C420 Mid Atlantic Championships

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 2:30pm

After publication of last week’s article, Boothbay sailors were awarded breakdown points at the Casco Bay Open moving the team from 10th to 6th place.

Few high school sailing programs attend spinnaker events or accept middle school sailors. BRHS sailing does both, traveling to Niantic Bay, Connecticut for the C420 Mid Atlantic Championships Sept. 29-30. Sailors brought their own boats and used spinnakers and trapeze harnesses for extra speed. The competitive 42-boat fleet included several I420 sailors dropping to the C420 class with several Youth and Chubb Junior National Championship competitors in the 42-boat fleet. Squads of sailors from Long Island (LISOT), Connecticut (Mudratz), Rhode Island (BCRP), and New Jersey (CERT) attended with professional coaches.

BRHS sailors Alton Coolidge and Nate Rideout sailed the C420 Krowsnest donated by PC Lee Krow. Ella Beauregard and Hamilton Barclay sailed Ella donated by Paul Coulombe. Both boats, along with eight others, were donated through the BHYC Junior Program Foundation in 2014 testifying to the generosity of BHYC members and the community to junior sailing in Boothbay.

A light northerly graced the race course Saturday with a forecast of an afternoon sea breeze. A hopeful race committee started, then abandoned, two races before the 14 knot southwesterly arrived. Boothbay sailors Ella Beauregard and Hamilton Barclay dealt with an equipment issue during the third start sequence and found themselves 20 seconds late to the start but at the favored committee boat end and went right shortly after crossing the line. They stayed to the center right of the fleet looking for and tacking on lifts. The weather mark was 0.65 miles upwind and the pair rounded first. They held that lead until the spinnaker halyard let go 200 yards from the finish relinquishing first place by feet.

Sunday saw a repeat of Saturday’s conditions with the Boothbay pair leading the first race at the leeward gate when the race committee abandoned the race. Boothbay’s Coolidge and Rideout had their best race of the series abandoned too. Starting near the committee boat and staying right in clear air, they rounded the weather mark in the second group and were in 14th place when the race was abandoned. The sailors had lunch and waited for the sea breeze to arrive which it did about 1:30 and got three more races in.

Beauregard and Barclay finished 6th overall just one point out of a tie for 4th place. Coolidge and Rideout finished the regatta in 32nd. The BRHS sailors delayed their trip home to provide witness testimony to a protest and that was later dropped.

The team practices Monday through Thursday in Boothbay Harbor in the C420 junior training boat and J22s. This weekend the varsity team travels to Massachusetts for its final attempt to qualify for the Atlantic Coast Championships then to Castine on Columbus Day to sail in the Pen-Bay League. Spinnakers will be flying frequently in October as the team prepares three boats to travel to Newport for the Halloween Howl before ending its season at home on Nov. 3 with the Last Blast Regatta.

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