The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) sailing team lost a squeaker in the season opener Saturday in Hyannis. The young Vineyarders pushed the Nauset Warriors to the limit in the decisive fifth race, but came up just short in a 3-2 loss. For Vineyard Coach Andrew Burr, his team got off to an auspicious start. “The team sailed really, really well,” he said. “Every race was down to the wire. You don’t get better team racing. Coaching-wise it was fun to watch. It was 2-2 and the last race came right down to the finish line. Very solid from both teams. Certain people have not sailed a varsity race before.”
The Vineyarders have a mix of freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors but the team is still young in terms of overall sailing experience. “Based on what I saw Saturday, I’m extremely psyched right now,” Coach Burr said. “We have a lot of depth, which was solidified in the last week of practice, but the team is so young in terms of experience.”
Five skipper/crew combinations sailed in the varsity races against Nauset: Katie Morse (junior)/Christian Schmidt (junior); Joe Serpa (sophomore)/Elizabeth O’ Brien (senior); Coltrane Leport (senior)/Maggie Mayhew (senior); Patrick Flaherty (sophomore)/Menasha Leport (freshman); and Zach Ward (freshman)/Greta Gannon (senior).
Sophomore Abigail Hammarlund, along with freshmen Trent Bilodeau and Caleb Burt, also made the trip to Hyannis, sailing with varsity skippers Salyn Yancey (senior) and Katie Morse to sweep Nauset 3-0 in the JV races.
Coach Burr and Assistant Coach Andy Nutton have up to 23 sailors available for each meet, with lots of mixing and matching of personnel expected. Sophomores Taylor Blair and Gregory Clark, freshman Tristan Blair, senior Cahal Robinson, and homeschooled Tain Leonard Peck are also on the Vineyard roster.
Last season, the Vineyarders came up just shy of qualifying for the postseason Terk Trophy, which includes the ninth- through 16th-ranked teams in New England. This season, Coach Burr sees making the Terk field as a realistic goal for his promising team. “It’s a good group this year,” Coach Burr said. “Saturday bodes well for us. The Terk Trophy is the goal. Being top 12 to 14 in New England would be awesome. We have a solid platform to build from, and we’re where we want to be right now.”
The Vineyarders are scheduled to host Dartmouth on April 4, travel to Portland, Maine, on Saturday for a meet with host Cheverus High School and the Prout School of Wakefield, RI., and host Cape Cod Academy on April 10 on Lagoon Pond at Sailing Camp in Oak Bluffs.