The Bainbridge High School Sailing team gave impressive showings at two separate regattas last weekend, with the Spartan team racing against other Northwest District Interscholastic Sailing Association member schools and honing their skills for the district championship, which will be hosted here in Eagle Harbor on Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27.
Schools from the north portion of the district competed in Bellingham, and those from the south portion sailed in Portland. Team officials said that Bainbridge, by dint of being in the middle, sent a team of sailors to each venue.
Conditions in Portland were variable, to say the least, officials reported. Strong currents in the Willamette River made for challenges the sailors don’t usually face, and care was critical when rounding marks in order to avoid drifting into them, for which there is a stiff penalty.
Winds also were a challenge, with some stronger breeze at times and some less, negatively enhanced by small areas of no wind at all.
All racing was done on Saturday, as Sunday was completely calm.
Extra amusement for spectators was reportedly created when the hiking strap broke in one of the BHS sailors’ boats and he not only was flung overboard but also capsized the boat in the process. Fortunately, his teammates carried on to win that race for the team.
Racing was accomplished in 420 dinghies for the most part, and some in Flying Juniors, in which the island team has had more practice.
The strongest performance was seen from Gig Harbor, with nine wins and no losses, a perfect record.
Second, with a 6-3 record, was Benson Poly of Oregon.
Bainbridge tied with two teams from Lincoln of Oregon 5-4, finishing among the best 10 teams.
The Bellingham sailors were blown completely off the water Saturday with regular high winds and gusts up to 30 mph. All sailing was thus completed Sunday, a lovely day with 7 to 10 mph winds and sunshine.
Orcas dominated the regatta, winning all eight matches in the nine-team event.
Seattle’s Roosevelt High was second with a 7-1 record, losing only to Orcas.
Bainbridge and Sehome each finished the rotation with 5-3 records. The tie was broken in favor of Sehome as they won their match with Bainbridge.
Coaches of both halves of the BHS team said they saw much improvement during the course of the regattas and are pleased with the progress of the team.