Vineyard sailors take two seconds, third in championship weekend

The Vineyarders (boat 8), with Margaret Joba-Woodruff and Maddy Moore aboard, round the Windward offset in second position during the Cape and Island's Women's Championships Friday in Nantucket. — Photo by Maggie Lumkes

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School sailing season came to an end last weekend. The Vineyarders placed third in the New England Public School Championships, held Saturday in Sharon, and finished as runners-up in two other finals.

Friday in Nantucket, the Vineyard girls placed second to Dennis-Yarmouth in the nine school Cape and Island Women’s Championships. Freshman Margaret Joba-Woodruff, in her first away fleet racing regatta, skippered the Vineyarders with sophomores Maddy Moore and Lila Sullivan alternating as crew. The Vineyarders finished in a three-way tie for first with D-Y and Nauset, but the Dolphins won the championship by virtue of having one more win.

The Vineyarders then traveled to Sharon for the coed public school finals against North Kingstown, R.I.; Falmouth, Maine; Wellesley (substituting for Daniel Hand High School of Madison, Conn.); Hingham; and hosts Sharon.

Low winds made for difficult racing on Lake Massapoag. “It was some of the hardest racing you could imagine for the first six hours,” coach Andrew Burr said.

The Vineyarders raced in a single round-robin format, sailing each team once. Raz Sayre skippered with Anna Flaherty as crew, Eli Hanschka with Russell Shapiro, and Charlie Morano with Ellie Reagan. Adam Bilodeau was also on the Vineyard roster.

Nearly every race was down to the wire, with the teams jockeying back and forth. The Vineyarders defeated the three Massachuetts schools and lost to eventual champions North Kingstown and Falmouth. The race against the downeasters had to be resailed after the Falmouth boat broke the Vineyard tiller in half.

The third-place finish left the Vineyarders ranked among the top six public schools in New England and 12th overall. “A win was do-able,” coach Burr said. “We were in all the races. You are competing at a level that is the best in New England.”

The Vineyarders completed the busy weekend on Sunday by placing second at the Cape and Islands Team Racing Championships, hosted by Dennis-Yarmouth High School. The format was again a single round-robin. The Vineyarders raced with the same lineup as in Sharon and lost only once, to champions Bishop Stang, a team they had defeated in the regular season.