BHYC Junior sailing keeping busy

Posted:  Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - 4:30pm

Wow, what a week! We now have our fourth, and so far most exciting week in the books for the 2018 Junior Sailing season at BHYC. In addition to hosting a week long Junior Olympics Sailing Festival which included the Maine State 420, Maine State Opti, and the National Junior single and double handed championships, we also had a great week of normal class programming.

I would like to take a moment to thank all of the volunteers and staff, including part time instructor Kate Coupland, that stepped up to help keep our regular program running while many of our coaches and apprentices were engaged in the regattas this past week. It is important to us that all of our sailors have a rewarding experience regardless of what other events are happening at the Yacht Club on a weekly basis. I'd also like to thank all of the boat owners who have taken out many of our junior sailors on their boats for this years Foundation Cup.

Monday to Wednesday saw fifty 420 teams and 15 laser sailors from as far away as Rhode Island and Vermont at our newly opened Sailing and Education Center. Hamilton Barclay with Ella Beauregard, Toby Clarkson with Cyrus Blake, Claudia Stedt with Tess McComiskey, Luke Merrill with Ethan Gruntfest, Bobby Clarkson with Holden Langenhagen, Henry Currier and coach Tori Thompson, all represented BHYC with solid learning and great sportsmanship throughout the event. For most of these teams, this was their first regatta together and we are proud of the progress that they have shown. The experience of Hamilton Barclay and Ella Beauregard showed through, with them clinching second place, only 1 point behind the overall winners. Their success has landed them a spot at the US Sailing National Junior Championships in August.

Sixty-two Optis arrived Thursday, among them Arden Carleton, Piper Carleton, Charlotte Blake, Cyrus Blake, Toby Clarkson, Hamilton Barclay, Hollis Harding, Rath Schoenthal, and Otto Schoenthal with coaches Caleb Gray and Aidan Clark represented BHYC. All of our sailors showed growth, placing higher this year than last, and came back to shore with smiles. Hamilton's experience and versatility showed again, with him clenching the overall winners spot by a commanding 20 points. Other notable results included Otto in 5th and Toby in 4th in their respective age brackets.

Amongst the organized chaos on the docks, we delivered another week of fantastic instruction, with our beginner and intermediate morning Opti sailors ending the week with an upwind sail out and around Tumbler Island. Olivia Cook, age 7, may just go down in history as our fastest learning and youngest sailor when she joined the rest of her peers in successfully sailing out to Tumbler Island with minimal assistance. Additionally, BHYC was able to borrow two O'Pen Bic sail boats for our sailors to try. A faster, wetter, and more tippy boat that the Opti, many of our sailors enjoyed the change of pace. Sidney Blanchard may be the boats biggest fan, she started to learn how to hike thanks to the boat's excess of power.

Our afternoon sailors who were not interested or ready to race enjoyed a week of learning with a lot of spinnaker and dry capsize practice, a trip out to Burnt Island to explore the trails and lighthouse, and a day sail aboard Anna Grace, the club owned Boothbay Harbor One Design. Tessa Stephens and Tracy Rosenburg get this week’s mention for their enjoyment and skill in practicing dry capsizes, despite one unintentional turtled boat as a result.

The sailing opportunities continued into the weekend with the navy Varsity Sailing Team arriving in Hooligan, their TransPac 52 sailboat. The Navy team took junior sailors out from both BHYC and SYC on Saturday. Apparition, a Swan 42 sailboat, also took sailors out Saturday and Sunday during the BHYC Foundation Cup.

Looking forward to next week, junior sailing will be back in the Sailing and Education Center and will be meeting families on the back deck Monday morning. In addition to our normal instruction, we have a few events of interest this week.

-Tuesday, Biddeford Pool Yacht Club is hosting a team race clinic and practice races. If any of our 420 sailors are interested in going, please let me know.

-Wednesday, we will be sending a team to Sail Maine for a MIRC

-Thursday, we would like to send another team to Sail Maine for a J-22 Clinic and races.

-Friday we will be sailing over to Southport Yacht Club for our second annual barbecue and games. The afternoon class will sail over during class, and can be picked up there, we will then tow the boats back to avoid getting home after dark