Sailors Claim 1st MASSA Silver Championship

Hardee & Reitzel in action earlier this year (PC: Alexa Hurnyak)

Over the weekend, the dinghy sail team traveled down to Hampton, VA for two days of racing in pursuit of the MASSA Silver Team Championship, a prize that had narrowly eluded them in previous years. This time, the Bears prevailed after two taut days of Mid-Atlantic racing and returned North with their coveted trophy.

On Saturday, the day opened with light winds leading to a postponement until the afternoon. Following lunch, the fleet was graced with two hours of 6-9 mph winds that occasionally gusted to 11 mph. In the first of the regatta’s four rounds the Bears earned a clean sweep as the pairings of Lilly Jette and Harry Fredericks, Steven Hardee and Mairead Reitzel, and Gavin Hudson and Imogene Dunn took the four head-to-head match-ups. In the team sailing format, three boats from one school race against three boats from another and the winner earns a place finish combination of ten points or less, if first place equals 1 point, second place equals 2 points, etc. The Bears took all four match-ups on the day vs. Norfolk Academy (2-3-4), Key School (1-2-6), Broadneck (1-2-5), and Fairport (1-3-4) before the wind let up and the rest of the racing was pushed to Sunday.

The following day, both the wind and chop were up as the fleet harnessed 12-18 mph winds and battled one-foot waves during a long day of racing. The Bears’ crew pairings for the final three rounds were Hardee and Katerina Kuthanova, Hudson and Fredericks, and Jette and Nicholas Gargiulo who began the day with a 2-2 record in round two with victories over Key (1-2-5) and Fairport (1-2-3) and losses to Norfolk (3-5-6) and Broadneck (3-4-5).

Captain John Everitt praised the resilience the team showed by leaving behind mistakes from previous rounds and focusing on being sharper in the next one, in spite of conditions that can wear sailors down over a long day on the water. That mental toughness gave the Brook a 3-1 record in round three with victories over Key (1-2-5), Broadneck (1-2-5), and Fairport (1-2-4) and a lone loss to Norfolk (3-4-6).

In the final round of the day, the Bears again proved their mettle by sweeping all four races over Norfolk (1-2-5), Key (1-2-3), Broadneck (1-4-5), and Fairport (1-2-4), leaving them in a dead tie with Norfolk for the lead. The Bears had the tiebreaker edge on a procedural technicality, but the coaches agreed it was best to settle the result on the water with one final sail off.

In the tiebreaker, the Bears finished 2-3-4 to top the Bulldogs in their own waters and illustrate how valuable depth is in team racing.

The Bears are back in the water on May 8 in a MASSA Girls’ Championship in Oyster Bay.



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