By Inbar Rabinovsky—Correspondent
The sailing team is attending their last big regatta of the year in Maryland to top off their season.
The team has two types of racing—fleet racing and team racing. In fleet racing, each school has one boat that sails around the course in a 15-20 minute race. However, in team racing, only 2 teams compete at a time— each team having 3 boats on their side. The place each boat finishes in is counted as their score and the team with the lesser score wins. In fall the team practices four times a week and has a regatta on most weekends. In spring the varsity team also practices four times a week and competes one day every weekend.
The team recently qualified for the Atlantic Coast Championship (ACCs) which will be held November 12th-13th in Annapolis, Maryland. About 13 sailors will be traveling to the event which will be held at a local yacht club.
Head coach Gary Werden says attending the ACCs has been a big goal for the season along with winning the Mass Bay league (MBL) in team racing, fleet racing and much more. “I think these are all realistic goals,” said Werden.
Last year the team just missed making the National championship, and this year hope to win states. “Then in the spring we hosted the National Invitational Tournament, a national team racing event for the teams that just missed making the National Championship,” said Werden.
Senior captain Bella Cho says she enjoys sailing and hopes to continue it when she goes to college. “I hope to continue it either in club or varsity,” said Cho.
Senior captain Rohan Shah says he likes being able to go to the lake afterschool and improve as a team each practice. “I really like being able to be at the lake, and it’s pretty competitive so everyday you push yourself to win and do better,” said Shah.
Last year the team was ranked the 10th best team in New England and qualified for the national invitational. “In the spring we are aiming again to qualify for national level events,” said Shah.
This season the team received new boats to use. “They aren’t really new, more like new old because we got them from a different town. Friends of Sharon (a nonprofit group that fundraises for the team) actually donated to us to be able to buy these boats,” said Cho.
Cho says she has grown to enjoy not only the sport, but her friends on the team as well. “My favorite thing is probably the people. I didn’t really think I was going to like it freshman year, and I was only doing it because of my brother, but I decided to stay because I met great people and they are really nice friends to me,” said Cho.
Werden says his two favorite aspects of the team are their hard work and chemistry. “They try to get better every day, they ask questions, and are good enough at fundamentals that we get to work on a lot of the finer nuances of sailing. That pushes me to be a better coach— It’s all very satisfying. Especially with the seniors, chemistry is great,” said Werden.
Werden also enjoys the daily debriefs after practice. “Debriefs after practice and events are a mixture of critical analysis and humor. Casual conversations go in all directions, usually with some laughing, and always with obvious friendships. I get to be included and it is fun and funny to share intergenerational perspectives,” said Werden.