Bears Sail Back into National Championship

On Sunday afternoon, the dinghy sail team repeated last year’s historic feat by placing 4th in the MASSA Fleet Championship held in Toms River, NJ, earning them a spot in the Mallory National Fleet Race Championship, the biggest scholastic regatta in the country.

On Saturday morning, the Bears launched from the Toms River Yacht Club in a field comprised of 18 of the best teams in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, all vying for a National Championship bid. Under overcast skies and amid winds that grew to 6-10 knots throughout the day, the fleet completed 18 races (10 in Division A and 8 in Division B). At the day’s close, the Bears held 8th place but were only 15 points out of qualifying position.

An overnight front passed through, leaving a northeast breeze and cooler temperatures in its wake. By noon on Sunday, a southeast breeze kicked up to 8-12 knots and four Division A races and six Division B races went off before the regatta was completed. Severn (MD), Norfolk Academy (VA), and Archbishop Spalding (MD) outdistanced the rest of the field for the top three spots, leaving the coveted fourth spot and Nationals berth up for grabs among five teams that were within 10 points of each other throughout the day. As the final races approached, the Bears and Southern Regional HS (NJ) were left jockeying closely for the final qualifying position.

The Bears trailed by two points following the 11th race in Division B, but Gavin Hudson and Mairead Reitzel sailed to a 3rd place finish in race 12A to take a 190-193 lead on points (low score wins). A 5th place finish by Mauro Gonzalez and Sean Beaver in race 12B helped the Bears maintain a 195-197 margin. However, a 3rd place by Southern Regional and a 15th by the Bears in race 13A vaulted Southern back into a 200-210 lead. The Rams still led 210-2019 after race 13B, but the Bears closed with a pair of clutch performances in the final two races to nab the final Nationals spot.

In race 14A, Hudson and Reitzel piloted their way to a 5th place while Southern settled for 13th, leaving the Bears trailing by a single point, 224-223, with one race to go. Needing a huge effort, Gonzalez and Beaver came through with one of the biggest races in program history, sailing to a 2nd place finish that was only bested over their 16 races by a 1st place finish on Saturday in race 5B. Southern Regional took 6th, leaving the Bears ahead 226-229 at the completion of racing.

Hudson and Reitzel took 7th place in Division A against some of the best sailors in the country with 112 points, earning a 1st place finish and a pair of 3rds. Gonzalez and Beaver were 4th in Division B with 114 points, earning a 1st and 2nd place and four other top-five finishes. Their 226 combined points puts them back in the most exclusive high school race in the country, which will be held in Toms River, NJ on June 3-4.

The team is back in action this weekend as they look to defend their two consecutive New York State Championships.

RankSchoolDivision ADivision BTotal
1Severn School (MD)283462
2Norfolk Academy (VA)8378161
3Archbishop Spalding (MD)13944183
4Stony Brook School (NY)112114226
5Southern Regional HS (NJ)104125229
6Hampton Road Academy (VA)94140234
7Donovan Catholic (NJ)120116236
8Christian Brothers Academy (NJ)118123241
9Norfolk Collegiate School (VA)155124279
10Summit HS (NJ)108174283
11St. Mary’s HS (MD)154148302
12Gilman School (MD)84219303
13Conestoga HS (PA)157147304
14Leonardtown HS (MD)181129310
15Mamaroneck HS (NY)167163330
16Great Mills HS (MD)192139331
17Seton Hall Prep (NJ)174159333
18Irondequoit HS (NY)227224451


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