PT High School Sailing Team at the Silverdale team racing regatta. Photo by Erik Coburn

PT High School Sailing Team at the Silverdale team racing regatta. Photo by Erik Coburn

Saturday March 23rd the Port Townsend High School Sailing Team (PTHSST) traveled to mostly sunny Silverdale to a 17 team 2 boats vs 2 boats event.  Light winds out of the south were adequate almost all the time and quite favorable most of the time for this format of racing, allowing a total of 61 races to be run.  The course was the standard “Digital N” used for team racing in high school and college.

Team racing course "Digital N" course

Team racing “Digital N” course

Races were in V15s and about 6 – 8 minutes long.  As one group of 4 boats would be rounding the top marks, the next would be starting.  So typically there are 3 sets of 4 boats on the course at all times and another 4 boats being rotated to two new teams. While this all sounds complicated it really isn’t, and the event was run expertly by the Silverdale crew.  There was even a dock emcee who would announce which teams were swapping into which boats, making it pretty easy for anyone to understand the boat rotation.  Silverdale (Central Kitsap HS) has pretty ideal facilities for hosting regattas, with an expansive dock way out into the water.  The course was just yards from the dock making for great spectating.  It was a pretty festive atmosphere with many stoked kids and parents alike.

Due to the amount of teams, all the teams were divided into two flights.  The name of the game is “Last Place Loses,” meaning: if one boat from a team finishes first yet their teammate-boat finishes fourth, that team loses that race.

Port Townsend 2 consisted of Olivia Gibbons and Anda Yashimi in one boat and Grant Shogren and Sean Westerlund in another.  They sailed well and finished 4-3 in their 7 races.  Everyone in that group has been showing vast improvement this year, especially in boat handling.

Port Townsend 1 consisted of Darby Flanagan and Chloe Dawson in one boat, and Eliza Dawson and McKinzie Ginther in the other.  That team went 8-0!  Still, much practice is needed by the PT sailors and coaches alike before District Champs which is 3 vs 3 team racing.

All told, it was a great one day regatta where a pile of high school sailors got a bunch of team racing experience.  It was great to see the kids executing team race strategy and tactics.  There were pre-start dial ups, pass backs, mark traps and lots of great boat handling.  What’s even more amazing is there was a simultaneous regatta for the North Division being hosted by Anacortes! High School sailing is absolutely booming right now.  If you want to get an overdose of good energy and see a bunch of great sailing, come check it out.  Schedule here: