Sailors outpaced by NK in regatta

"Felled by scheduling problems and two newly powerful rivals, the Bainbridge sailing team failed to win their district team meet for the first time in several years. The Sparts finished third in the two-day regatta, held over the weekend in Eagle Harbor, trailing both North Kitsap and Anacortes.The regatta consisted of three rounds of round-robin racing. Each entrant pitted its three-boat team against each other entrant in each round.The Sparts' undoing came in the first two rounds on Saturday, when they lost both of their races to North Kitsap and Anacortes, giving them a 6-4 record for the day. They rebounded on Sunday, and swept their five races in the third round. But the fourth round was cancelled due to time and equipment problems, and the first-day deficit proved insurmountable.North Kitsap's winning mark was 15-2. Anacortes and Bainbridge both had 11-4 records, but Anacortes was awarded second place because it won two of the three races against the Sparts.Coach John DeMeyer praised the performance of skipper Pat Taylor, who he said has really worked at team racing.Sunday afternoon's thrilling race against North Kitsap was a good example. After the first leg of the race, Taylor and crewman Kellen Bailey were in third place. But rather than trying to move up, they dropped back, sailed into the path of two Viking boats, and allowed teammates Chris Utley and Amber Blankenship to move into second.By finishing first, second and sixth, Bainbridge took a 12-9 win in the race. Taylor actually finished sixth, but he won the race for us, DeMeyer said.Matt Upton skippered Bainbridge's third boat with Dan Roche as the crew. Emily Bruns filled in for Upton on Saturday morning, when Upton was taking his college boards.I think we were actually better this year than we were last year, when we won districts and won a race at the national regatta, DeMeyer said. But North Kitsap has suddenly blossomed. They have new facilities, a whole bunch of boats, and a super group of kids.DeMeyer said the competition will help the overall Bainbridge program. Our goal every year has been to try to become more competitive on the national level, he said. Having two really strong competitors in our own area will help a lot, he said.The Sparts conclude their season May 17, with another regatta against North Kitsap in Poulsbo."

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