Spartans qualify for national sailing race

Bainbridge High School sailors dominated competition in the Northwest District High School Team Race Championship held at Sail Sand Point on Lake Washington last weekend. The team earned the right to represent the Northwest District of ISSA at the Baker National Team Racing Championship at Stanford University on Memorial Day weekend.

Co-captains Abby Hartmann and Sean Willerford, and Ethan Stahl at the helm, and crew members Amanda D’Amore, Chase Webber and Kristiaan Thompson compiled an 8-1, followed by Orcas with 7-2 mark.

The JV fleet of Kendall Sanson, Jake Fetterman, and Maude Gibbins at the helm, and crew Sarah Redmond, Alex Shimmin, Peter Kirk and Katie Bonneau went undefeated record in the slightly less than complete rotation of eight schools. Orcas again finished second.

The weather was varied, raining for much of Saturday and mixed sun and clouds Sunday as systems moved through the area, making for mostly light and incredibly shifty winds. A few races also had strong gusts that surprised some of the opponents' boats to capsize.

The conditions required a great deal of keen observation and adaptability on the part of the sailors to earn favorable results. Bainbridge sailors in both fleets showed clear superiority in their ability to focus and their knowledge of the tactical game in their racing.

For example, as one opposing sailor told his coach as he came off the water after a match with Bainbridge JV, “Those kids really know how to team race!” Of special note is the youth of the Bainbridge team, which has only one senior and is almost all sophomores.

Highlights of the day included:

– Stahl and Webber pinning all three Orcas boats with their boat at the start, thereby allowing their teammates to sail ahead for the 1, 2, 4 victory.

– Gibbins and Shimmin executing the perfect mark trap to send their teammates ahead for a win.

– Sanson and Redmond working, at some point in the regatta, nearly all the passback plays to keep their team in winning combinations.

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