An Old Wetsuit Can Help a New Sailor

Sugar Flanagan contacted us to ask if anyone has an old wetsuit or drysuit or dinghy sailing accessorories to donate to the Port Townsend High School Sailing Team.

It looks like we have a bunch of new sailors thinking about joining the sailing team and one of the big hurdles for them is gearing up for sailing/swimming in our 46 degree water. I was wondering if anyone has a sailing style wet suit in their closet that hasn’t seen, and probably won’t see, water in the near future that some teenage kid would enjoy it’s use. Old wet or drysuits don’t get better with age. Any dinghy sailing accessories would also be most welcome.

Fair Winds,

For more info you can contact Sugar at

By |2016-02-10T08:42:14-08:00February 10th, 2016|PTHS Sailing Team|0 Comments

Strong Start for PT High School Sailing Team

Sugar Flanagan reports in on the PT High School Sailing Team’s season so far. We invite all our readers to join with the Port Townsend Sailing Association and many of our members to support this great program. Donations are accepted through the Northwest Maritime Center.

Jonathan Parent, Chloe Dawson, McKenzie Ginther, Sean Westlund and Anda Yoshina. This years PT High School Sailing Team returning from Orcas on the team bus.

Jonathan Parent, Chloe Dawson, McKenzie Ginther, Sean Westlund and Anda Yoshina. This years PT High School Sailing Team returning from Lopez Island and the Island Cup Regatta on the team bus, Head Coach Sugar Flanagan’s schooner ALCYONE.

It’s time for an update on the PT High School Sailing team’s 2014 season. So far we have had a total of five fleet race regattas. Three of our regattas have been in light challenging conditions  and two had a reasonable breeze. Port Townsend has won three of these (sailed in V-15’s) and placed second and third in the other two (sailed in FJ’s) . Eliza Dawson and McKenzie Ginther have won A division in all 5 regatta with an impressive amount of bullets. This season we have added two used FJ’s to our fleet, so we can get more practice sailing in FJ’s.

The last regatta we attended, the Island Cup Regatta, was held on Lopez Island for the first time, since Lopez has just started a High School Sailing team! It was Spring Break so we took most of the team up on ALCYONE with Eliza Dawson joining in the Islands. The regatta was held in Fisherman Bay and was our first time in there with the ALCYONE ( we draw ten feet). We had a great sail up with the team on Wednesday and the ALCYONE sailed around outside of Fisherman Bay while I went in with the dinghy to sound the entrance. Thursday it blew and we tucked in a reef and went for a sail from Blind Bay down to American Camp and then rowed ashore for an explore. We entered the harbor early Friday morning on a highish tide, and were around to help rig boats and participate in the Friday afternoon practice. After a great weekend of sailing, we left early Monday morning. By the time we scoped out the harbor, sneaked in, scoped out the exit on a lower tide and snuck out our lead line was totally worn out – but it was a successful regatta.


By |2014-04-15T16:39:16-07:00April 15th, 2014|PTHS Sailing Team|0 Comments

PTHS Sailing Team Headed to Chicago

A nice note from the PTHSST appeared in today’s email…

Darby Flanagan, Cody Kowalski, McKenzie Ginther, Chloe Dawson, Alethea Westlund and Sean Westlund.

Darby Flanagan, Cody Kowalski, McKenzie Ginther, Chloe Dawson, Alethea Westlund and Sean Westlund.

The PTHS Sailing Team is headed to Chicago and the support that we received from sailors, maritime trades, family and friends has made it possible!  This weekend’s hot dog fundraiser, sponsored by West Marine, was a great success.  We appreciated the financial support, but most importantly the best wishes, congratulations, encouragement passed on by the community means a lot to the team.

The team did not quite win the “Triple Crown”, but with a 1st at the single-handed district, 1st a double-handed districts, and last weekends 2nd at the team race district, it has been an exciting season.   Now it is off to the Windy City and the Mallory Trophy Fleet Race Nationals. The web site will has the information about the race.  Usually the results are posted through out the day.  To find out more about the NW district you can look on the website at

By |2013-05-09T08:39:19-07:00May 9th, 2013|PTHS Sailing Team|0 Comments

PT Nationals Bound. Needs to Raise Funds ASAP!

Our kids have done a great job this years. Now it’s our turn to step up.


Sorry I have been behind on regatta reports, it’s been crunch time!  By virtue of great sailing and pure grit by the kids in what came down to a total nail biter regatta, Port Townsend has qualified for Nationals.

pthsst-fund-raiserWe won by a mere 2 points over 32 races.  The regatta was not decided until the final race (between Bainbridge and ourselves).

Long story short, we are heading to Chicago Yacht Club in less than two weeks to compete with the best of the best in high school sailing.  HS sailing is the fastest growing segment of sailing right now, and the PNW is the fastest growing District in high school sailing.  PT won when it counted with a victory at District Doublehands.  Prior, we won some very important regattas, such as the Gold Fleet at the Combined Regionals, and the Island Cup.

We are seeking monetary donations from the PT sailing community. I’ll write some real regatta reports when things slow down.  For now, crunch time has just been extended.  Team Race Districts are next weekend at Sail Sand Point and Sugar and I are developing a killer practice plan for that too.

We should get some support from The Sailing Foundation which is a Seattle-based organization which might cover 30-40% of the travel costs for four sailors and one coach.  We will be taking six sailors, two coaches (Sugar and myself) and a female chaperone.

Can you help pass our message on to Port Townsend racing community? This is a wonderful opportunity for the team and we hope the PT boating community will help make it happen!


By |2013-04-29T14:46:25-07:00April 29th, 2013|PTHS Sailing Team|0 Comments

Sailing Team Wins Silverdale Team Racing Regatta

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.

By |2013-03-29T10:23:07-07:00March 29th, 2013|PTHS Sailing Team|0 Comments

PT Sailing Team Sails To Victory in Seattle


Cody Kowalski and McKenzie Ginther putting the hurt on the fleet with a decisive bullet (the rest of the fleet is out of the picture!). Photo by Erik Coburn

High school sailing has grown so much that the Northwest District (  may be splitting in to two regions.  While the PT team has gotten a lot better, the whole district has as well, making every regatta a nail biter for the team.  At a South Region Regatta March 9th in Silverdale, PT qualified one team for the Gold fleet and one for the Silver fleet.  A similar regatta for the North Region took place in Bellingham on Lake Whatcom the same day.  The Gold and Silver fleets of both divisions then met this weekend in Seattle at Sail Sandpoint on Lake Washington.

After a shifty-puffy-uppy-downy Saturday breeze which ranged from five knots to over 20, Port Townsend sailors were tired but happy.  The Gold fleet team was in 1st out of 26 boats.  The Silver fleet team was sitting in 5th out of 26.

The Gold teams would race two races, about twenty minutes each, then come in and swap out the boats with the Silver fleet teams.  Each team would have two boats on course for each race, but the format was fleet racing.  Sounds confusing, but let’s just say a whole bunch of good sailors did a whole bunch of racing at Sail Sandpoint this weekend.  All told, there were over 140 high school sailors.


By |2013-03-22T07:11:28-07:00March 22nd, 2013|PTHS Sailing Team|0 Comments

PT High School Sails Well at Season Opener

2013 Port Townsend High School Sailing Team

2013 Port Townsend High School Sailing Team

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.


By |2013-03-08T15:17:01-08:00March 8th, 2013|PTHS Sailing Team|0 Comments

PT’s Eliza Dawson Wins NW High School Singlehanded Championship and Qualifies for Nationals!

PTHSST sailor Eliza Dawson, winner of the NWISA Singlehanded Championship, qualified for Nationals!

Local high school sailor Eliza Dawson won the Northwest District of the Interscholastic Sailing Association (NWISA) Singlehanded District Championship this weekend at the Columbia Gorge qualifying to sail at the High School Singlehanded National Championship, Nov 9-10, in Long Beach California!

In the high school singlehanded competition the sailors race in Lasers, either full-rigged for the larger sailors or radial for the lighter sailors.

Coach Sugar Flanagan said, “ Eliza has spent her summer teaching sailing for the NWMC during the week and her weekends competing on the youth racing circuit. Her hard work paid off. There was some good competition for her in the radial class, she was consistently finishing in the top three and after a three way tie going in to the final race she came away winning the regatta by sailing smart and avoiding protest situations. “

PTHSST Fund Raiser

Get a large stack of $5 raffle tickets at the Wooden Boat Festival for a chance to win local painter Luke Tornatzky’s oil painting, and help raise the funds to send Eliza to the National Championships and support the marvelous PTHSST.

This weekend the high school sailing team will have a fundraising booth at Wooden Boat Festival. The fundraising will be to raise money for the team’s yearly budget and also to help raise money to send Eliza to Nationals. There will crafts and goodies that the sailors have made and also a raffle – 1st place is a painting that was generously donated by Luke Tornatzky. Luke is a Port Townsend artist well known in the art world for creating striking maritime images. The 2nd place prize is a ride for two on the Schooner ALCYONE for the Wooden Boat Festival’s “Sail By” (Sunday Sept. 9). The drawing for the raffle will be held at the music stage at the Festival Sunday, Sept. 9 at 11:30 AM. The raffle tickets are $5, you do not have to be present to win the first prize painting, but you need to be present to win the sail on the ALCYONE.

Stop by the booth and meet the sailors, find out about the team and help support the next generation of Port Townsend sailors!

By |2012-09-04T15:10:06-07:00September 4th, 2012|PTHS Sailing Team|0 Comments

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.

By |2012-05-15T16:59:32-07:00May 15th, 2012|PTHS Sailing Team|1 Comment

PT Sailing Team Takes Second at PT Regatta

PT sailors Cody Kowalski and Chloe Dawson won three races at the Port Townsend Open. Photo by Mike Dawson

One-hundred twenty-three high school sailors from around the northwest converged on the Maritime Center for the Port Townsend high school sailing team’s home regatta. Port Townsend took second place behind North Kitsap. “Our sailors did a great job on the water with our varsity team proving we are a strong contender to go to nationals and the JV guaranteeing future possibilities.” said coach Sugar Flanagan.

Next weekend the team travels to Bellingham for Team Race Districts, then the following weekend is Doublehanded Districts in Seattle. Both are qualifiers for Nationals, which will be held this year in the pacific northwest on Lake Union.