Port Townsend HS Sailing Team Places 2nd at Districts

Darby Flanagan, Olivia Gibbons, Eliza Dawson, Serena Vilage and Cody Kowalski receiving their 2nd place trophy at the District Champs held at the Center for Wooden Boats May 4 -5. Photo by Scott Wilson, the Bellingham Coach.

The last two beautiful sunny weekends there were two great high school sailing events held down at the Center for Wooden Boats. May 5th – 6th the NWISA Doublehanded Districts were held and May 11th – 12th the Mallory Cup, Doublehanded Nationals, were sailed under beautiful conditions.

For the Doublehanded Districts on the water, dictated by persnickety winds, were 14 Flying Juniors and 14 Vanguard 15s manned by NW high school sailors. For the Port Townsend team it was a well sailed, but at the same time difficult event. After Saturdays racing they were in second place behind the Bainbridge Island team, but early Sunday they took the lead and at one point were ahead by 11 points. Then by the 30th race they were tied with the North Kitsap team and by the end, after 32 races, they were behind by 3 points and that had them taking 2nd place in the 14 boat fleet.

The sailing conditions made the management and sailing of the course a challenge, with breeze that oscillated from Southwest to West and back again. The Northerly, a favorite on the lake, didn’t show itself until Sunday and even then it flirted with the Westerly. In addition to the shifts, the breeze on Saturday came and went, sometimes only managing to be an elongated puff.

Racing ran from approximately 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM on Saturday and again on Sunday until just before 3:00 PM. With A division sailing V-15s and B division sailing FJs and both fleets on the water, it was a long weekend for the sailors but their focus and enthusiasm never waivered. Congratulations to North Kitsap High School for qualifying for the Mallory Trophy!

Last weekend at Nationals everything seemed to come together to make for perfect racing conditions and a well-run event. A number of the Port Townsend team came down to help out with the event and to watch the sailing. The favored Northerly wind was present at 8-12 knots both days, which made for great racing. With the combined effort from coaches, alumni and sailors from the NW teams the event was a great success.

Twenty teams from across the Nation showed up to compete. An entire rotation of 20 races in each division was completed by early afternoon on Sunday. It turned out the 4 out of the top five teams were from California, with congratulations going to the Point Loma High School team on winning the regatta and becoming the National Champs. The North Kitsap team came in 18th.

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