Spartans squeeze through harrowingly close sailing saga

  • Tue Apr 18th, 2017 10:17am
  • Sports

WHIDBEY ISLAND – The recent Oak Harbor Regatta was, according to Bainbridge High School sailing team officials, the weekend of the closest competition in the history of the Northwest District Interscholastic Sailing Association.

After 22 races, the 14 school varsity Gold Regatta had only four points between first place and fifth place.

“This was truly remarkable,” said team spokesman David Kaseler.

There were moderate to high winds during the regatta, held just off the breakwater in Oak Harbor.

Some gusts rolled several boats at once, and since the water there is relatively shallow, many found their masts stuck on the bottom, requiring outside assistance to right their boats, Kaseler said. One Bainbridge sailor was surprised to discover that when the boat capsized, he was standing in water only up to his waist.

Wind direction and strength was very fickle at the windward mark, which made for an extra challenge.

At the end of the weekend, the top five teams were winner Anacortes, with 92 points, Oak Harbor with 93, Bainbridge winning the tie-breaker for third with 94 points, Charles Wright also with 94 points, and Orcas following with 95 points.

Sailing for Bainbridge Gold were A skipper Olivia Mitchell with crew Quinn Ring, who were the second-place A half boat, and B skipper Sophia Kasper with crew Max Diane, who were the fourth-place B half boat.

The A Silver Regatta was run at the same time, on the same course, with a different start time and 16 boats, which gives extra sailors a chance to compete, Kaseler said.

After 20 races, the first Bainbridge entry finished fourth with 102 points.

Roosevelt, extremely and consistently fast, won with 49 points. Orcas was next with 63, then Gig Harbor with 86. Trailing Bainbridge by a serious gap was Orcas, with 151 points.

Sailing for Bainbridge1 were A skipper Elizabeth Rolfes with crews Clayton Marsh and Willa Weinsheimer, and B skippers Lindsay Campbell and Harry Saliba, and crew members Saliba (who served in both roles), Parker Hutchinson and Banning Jones.

A second and third Bainbridge entry also competed part of the time.

Other Bainbridge sailors included Hunter Johnston and Camden Lee, taking the helm for their first regatta, and Tristan Knoll, Daniel Rentz, Laine Pickell and Dane Petrakis.