Sailors perform ably in regattas near, far

Bainbridge skippers Amy Allen and Glen Stellmacher, with Sarah Clarke and Haley Lane as crew, get into position at the start line at the regatta at Orcas Island last Saturday. - Courtesy of Terry Samilson
Bainbridge skippers Amy Allen and Glen Stellmacher, with Sarah Clarke and Haley Lane as crew, get into position at the start line at the regatta at Orcas Island last Saturday.
— image credit: Courtesy of Terry Samilson

Spartans get ready for district championships.

The Bainbridge sailing team participated in two more regattas to prepare for bigger competitions in May.

Sailors from Bainbridge Orcas Island, Friday Harbor and Anacortes competed in a regatta at Orcas Island last Saturday.

Winds began as light to 5 knots, then increased to a maximum of 12 knots over the span of the afternoon and finally diminished to light and shifty by the last of the nine fleet races.

While there was strong representation from the participating schools, many stronger sailors from Orcas and Friday Harbor were absent due to their schools’ spring break schedules.

Bainbridge sailors were rotated through various pairings in the boats and all sailed well in all of the permutations.

Many finishes in the top five were recorded for the team. Captain Glen Stellmacher was consistent with each of the five crew members with whom he sailed, earning three first place finishes, three second place finishes and two third place finishes.

Even though he committed an OCS (over the start line early) Stellmacher was able to recoup for a fourth in the 12 boat fleet. Emma Hartmann was less consistent but finished well with her various crew to earn two firsts, one second, three thirds, a fourth, and a fifth.

Max Fleischfresser was also a notable performer in the skipper role, executing strong starts and some excellent finishes. The Spartan crews all performed well, with Haley Lane being the most outstanding sailor in that role.

In the more windy races of the day, Bainbridge found it difficult to sail the V-15 class boats without excessive heel.

The team will be working to strengthen themselves in the short time available before the district team racing championship in May, which will also be sailed at Orcas Island in the same type of boat.

Before competing at Orcas Island, Bainbridge traveled to Poulsbo last Wednesday to race with the North Kitsap team on Liberty Bay, otherwise known as “Dogfish Bay.”

A series of seven fleet races was run in soft breeze and sparkling sun and clouds. The northerly wind shifted progressively eastward requiring alert observation for fast sailing of the course, and several resets of the marks, which kept the race committee busy.

Nine Flying Junior sailboats were used in the regatta.

Bainbridge sailors, instructed to pursue excellence in starts, had some success with that task, setting themselves up in good position to take advantage of the shifts.

In most cases the Bainbridge sailors who came off the line in first and second finished in those places. Especially notable were starts by Fleischfresser and Sean Willerford resulting in two firsts, by captain Stellmacher and Lane for one first and one second, by Maddy Jackson and Evan Stewart for two seconds and by captain Amy Allen and Lucas Woltjer and Emma Hartmann and Lucas Woltjer for one second place finish for each boat.

Both teams exhibited pretty equal skills, promising exciting competition for the next regatta.

It was especially helpful to the development of the BHS team to have had this experience sailing in the NK FJs in the Liberty Bay venue, as the NK FJs are slightly different from their own as is the sailing environment.

The NK FJs will be used, for the most part, as the boats for the Northwest district fleet championships on April 21 and 22 in Poulsbo.

The regatta determines the Northwest representative team to the National High School Championship, also known as the Mallory Regatta, in Long Beach, Calif. in May.

Public viewing of the district championship regatta will be available from the Poulsbo Waterfront Park.

Eleven schools are expected to be represented for at that event.

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