Vineyard sailors three for five

Vineyarders Eli Hanschka and Lucas Dutton (right) in action against Barnstable Tuesday. — Photo by Andrew Burr

The Vineyard varsity sailors saw their ten-match winning streak snapped but finished the week with three wins in five tries.

Saturday, the Vineyarders traveled to Tabor Academy in Marion to race against three tough schools. Each best of five series went the distance. The Purple lost the opener, 3-2, to Manchester-Essex, defeated Duxbury, 3-2, and lost to Tabor, 3-2, in a series that came down to the final race.

“It’s a mental grind,” Vineyard coach Andrew Burr said of the long day. “They held it together pretty well right up through the Tabor race. We didn’t sail well and we didn’t sail poorly.”

The winds were northerly at 5 knots in the morning, with gusts up to 15 knots. By afternoon, the winds were more stable, coming from the southwest.

The Vineyarders employed the usual combinations of Raz Sayre (skipper) paired with Adam Bilodeau (crew); Charlie Morano with Anna Flaherty; and Eli Hanschka with Zana van Rooyen. Morano also paired with Maddy Moore.

With the two defeats, Vineyard hopes for a first-ever appearance in the Mark Trophy races (top eight in New England) took a slight hit, but the close margins lessened the damage.

The Purple rebounded Tuesday with a pair of solid wins at the Hyannis Yacht Club, where they defeated Barnstable, 3-1, and swept Sharon, 3-0. Winds were southerly at 12 knots. The Vineyard lineup remained largely unchanged from Saturday, save for the addition of jayvee skipper Lucas Dutton, who shifted to crew for the varsity match.

Next up for the varsity is a return visit to Tabor Academy Saturday for the fleet racing O’Day qualifiers. The Vineyarders (13-3) will try to reach the finals for the first time in six years. The finals will be held Sunday at the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut.

The jayvee sailors will host Tabor Academy Saturday in Oak Bluffs.