MVRHS sailors fall to Dartmouth rally, but playoff hopes still alive

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The MVRHS sailors posed for a team photo prior to their quad-meet at Tabor Academy last week. From left: Christian Schmidt, Patrick Flaherty, Coltrane Leport, Joe Serpa, Elizabeth O' Brien, Katie Morse, Maggie Mayhew and Zach Ward. — Andrew Burr

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School sailing team lost a heartbreaker Thursday at fifth-ranked Dartmouth. The Vineyarders jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, but the Indians rallied to tie, and pulled out the decisive fifth race at the wire to take the best-of-five series 3-2.

“It was a very competitive fifth race, back and forth, right to the finish,” said Vineyard Coach Andrew Burr. “It was good racing.”

Joe Serpa skippered the first Vineyard boat, with Menasha Leport on crew. Coltrane Leport drove the second boat with Maggie Mayhew, and Zach Ward skippered with Elizabeth O’ Brien on boat three.

With the close loss to a top-five team, Vineyard postseason hopes are still alive. In the latest New England Schools Sailing Association (NESSA) rankings on May 12, the Vineyarders remained 19th in New England. The computer will have the last word, with final regular-season rankings expected by Tuesday evening. The Vineyarders need to finish among the top 16 schools to race for the Terk Trophy at M.I.T. in Cambridge on May 19-20.

On May 5, at a three-team meet in Rhode Island, MV defeated Portsmouth (R.I.), 3-1, and Duxbury, 3-0, but lost to Moses Brown of Providence, 3-1.