BHYC junior sailors keeping busy

Posted:  Monday, August 6, 2018 - 9:00am

The seventh week of Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club Junior Sailing featured something for just about everyone. Four 420 teams and 9 Opti sailors traveled to the Harraseeket Youth Regatta (HYC) in Freeport, BHYC hosted other area clubs for our first annual adventure sail, and we continued our regular classes with kids aged 6 to 16 continuing to hone their sailing skills. We also welcomed recent University of Hawaii graduate Cole Brauer to our staff for the remainder of the season.

On Monday the sailing center was buzzing with activity as three coach boats, four 420s and nine Optis were loaded onto trailers and readied for travel to HYC for their annual Junior Regatta, a longtime staple on our summer racing calendar. Coaches Tori Thompson (Opti Championship), Caleb Gray (420) and Aidan Clark (Opti Green Fleet) helped sailors and the many parent volunteers it takes to pull this off in getting ready before heading down after class to get all of the equipment ready for the following morning.

By all accounts, the regatta was a success. Our program caters to all abilities and competitive desires. Living in an area with such high seasonality can be a challenge, as we see some kids for 10 weeks, and others for just 1 or 2 each season. It is our goal to make sure that we structure our program so that there is room to grow skills and experiences for all of those sailors. This regatta was no different. On the top of the competitive side, Hamilton Barclay and Ella Beauregard won the 420 fleet with a commanding lead. The duo posted 12 points in 10 scored races, beating out the second place boat by an amazing 34 points. Also worthy of note is the improvement of all our 420 sailors. All of our 420 teams placed higher in this fleet than they did in their last regatta, with the most improved award going to a new team of Luke Merrill and Holden Langenhagen. Both sailed in the JO’s with different partners and finished towards the back of the fleet. At HYC they improved to a mid fleet overall finish with a best race of 12th place. Hopefully, these two can pick up next year where they left off since Luke is headed back home to NJ for the rest of this season. Claudia Stedt and Tess McComiskey saw improvement as well, with a 9th and 7th place finish on the second day of the regatta improving their overall scores.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the regatta was that among the 15 programs in attendance, the HYC race committee chose the BHYC Opti fleet, lead by Coach Tori Thompson and assisted by Aidan Clark, as the team with the best sportsmanship. We couldn't be prouder of the life lessons these children are learning and displaying.

On the race course, our Opti team delivered very respectable results as well. Arden Carleton had the best finish of our Opti fleet, placing 19th out of 47 boats and 13th in her age group. Not far behind, Cyrus Blake, Rath Schoenthal, and Toby Clarkson placed 21st, 22nd, and 23rd overall, which corresponds to 8th, 9th, and 10th in their age bracket. This was also Caroline Snell’s first appearance in the Championship fleet, finishing a respectable 30th overall and 16th in her age bracket. In Opti Green Fleet, Sydney Snell place 5th out of 20 boats in her second ever regatta and the youngest member of our Opti Team, Charlie Carleton place 18th in her first regatta.

Back at the club, we ran a great program with some help and new faces. On Tuesday, Sarah Snell dusted off her instructor cap and sailed with our Mini Mariners. Sarah grew up sailing, then teaching in our program and now her three kids are with us. On Wednesday, Sarah Currier joined Cole Brauer on her first day with us to sail our 5 Mini Mariners out to Burnt Island for some exploration. Cole comes to us fresh off an all women's boat in the Pacific Cup which raced from San Francisco Bay to Kaneohe Bay, Oahu. In addition to being an academic All American at UH for 3 years, and her offshore experience, Cole also coaches a high school team in Hawaii and races International 14 foot skiffs and we are excited to welcome her. Kate Coupland also filled in for us while coaches were at the regattas and helped to move the weeks beginners along in their learning, while I worked with our large and enthusiastic group of intermediate sailors who were sailing upwind and out of the harbor by the end of the week.

The new excitement at the club was on Friday however, when we hosted our first annual BHYC Adventure day. Aidan Clark and Caleb Gray lead a mixed fleet of our sailors as well as those from KBIA and CCIA for a long sail into Linekin Bay to Barretts Park for a BBQ and some games before sailing back home. While we are proud of our sailors success on the race course, we are equally excited to start in this new direction, really giving all sailors something to aspire to. Hopefully this will be the start of other clubs hosting the same types of events in the future and our own event(s) growing in size. All reviews were positive and we are excited to expand this part of our program in the future.

As we look towards this week, we are happy to report a little bit of a quieter week at home, with the only possible travel to TEIA for a MIRC on Wednesday. Monday night we will host Tech racing beginning at 4:30 followed by an ice cream social at 6:30. The goal is to fill the eight boats that are rigged and ready to go and the event is open to any current or past afternoon sailors, qualified friends and family, and our staff. We hope to grow this into a regular series and give people another way to stay on the water, even if their schedule does not allow them to be with us everyday. Even if you cannot race, you should join us after for some ice cream, again friends and family are welcome. Additionally, if anyone is interested in crewing on a one design or J-80 for the Wednesday races, let us know and we will try to get you on a boat. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.