The Port Townsend High School Sailing Team (PTHSST) looked well-prepared for the upcoming rigorous season at last Saturday’s season opener, hosted by Seattle Yacht Club on Portage Bay. The team will compete in at least another eight regattas before the end of the season, and practice at least three days per week.
The season looks good for Port Townsend, returning a number of veteran skippers such as Darby Flanagan (Sr.), Cody Kowalski (Sr.), and District Singlehand champ Eliza Dawson (Jr.) who will also be competing in Doublehands. There are also returning veteran crews such as Olivia Gibbons and Serena Village who are both athletic Seniors. Additionally, there are some up and coming frosh crews such as Chloe Dawson and McKenzie Ginther, both of whom are highly athletic, and good skippers in their own right. The roster is rounded out by less experienced, yet enthusiastic athletes.
The SYC regatta was sailed in super challenging conditions. As to be expected on Portage Bay, which is in a deep basin surrounded by hills and buildings, winds were incredibly shifty and puffy, ranging from three to 10 knots with higher puffs, and shifts of 45 degrees were not uncommon. Additionally, with 26 boats crammed onto the course (which was no more than 300 yards long) made for close quarters boat-handling and tactics a priority.
Port Townsend had two teams entered in the melee, and finished in third and sixth out of 26 teams. District rivals North Kitsap (Poulsbo) took honors, with Bellingham’s Sehome H.S. edging PT out of silver. Overall though, sailors from Port Townsend largely dominated the even with many races featuring both of the PT teams finishing in the top five.
This upcoming weekend PTHSST travels to Dyes Inlet to do battle with the Northwest Interscholastic Sailing Association’s Southern Division to win the right to compete in the Gold Fleet at the next week’s district-wide event.
Says Coach Captain John “Sugar” Flanagan: “The competition should be intense this year, but these kids have the Eye of Tigger the Tiger.”