Martha’s Vineyard sailors off to 4-0 start

The Vineyarders head for a mark, holding the top three positions, in the second race against Pope John Paul II. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

The Vineyard varsity sailors took care of business in a big way in the first full week of racing. Coach Andrew Burr’s team went 4-0, beating teams that they simply had to beat before the meat of the schedule kicks in this weekend. “We won with a 1-2 combination in every race, which shows how dominant they were,” the coach said.

The Vineyarders sailed Tuesday in Lagoon Pond against Pope John Paul II of Hyannis and beat the Lions 3-0 in the best-of-five series. The winning crews were Raz Sayre (skipper) and Anna Flaherty; James Ulyatt and Tyler Shapiro; and Eli Hanschka and Russell Shapiro. The Vineyarders played out the series with Charlie Morano (skipper) paired with Ellie Reagan, then Maddy Moore.

Saturday, the coed team split up. The Vineyard boys sailed at Nauset in North Eastham against the Warriors and Monomoy of Chatham, while the girls stayed on-Island to compete in qualifying races for the fleet racing Herreshoff Trophy.

The boys swept both schools 4-0; winning both best of five series and bonus races to boot. The girls had their hands full sailing against powerhouse Tabor Academy of Marion and Dover-Sherborn, but finished third of four schools, just three points shy of second, to qualify for the Herreshoff finals in Lakeville, Conn., on Sunday, May 5. The Vineyarders will compete against 14 other schools, including host Hotchkiss. Katie Johnson (skipper) and Maddy Moore (crew) sailed the A boat, while Zana van Rooyen (skipper) and Ellie Reagan sailed the B boat.

The Vineyarders began the season with a 5-0 win over Dartmouth. The lineup was the same as in Tuesday’s win over Pope John Paul II, with the addition of skipper Elie Jordi paired with Doug Andrade.

With the first week over, the Vineyardes will be tested this weekend against some of the best schools in the region. Saturday, M.V. sails against host Tabor Academy, Belmont Hill, and Dennis-Yarmouth. Sunday, the Vineyarders travel to Newport, R.I. to meet St. George’s, North Kingston, R.I., and Hotchkiss.

“This weekend is important; it’s a big one,” Coach Burr said. “If they were to beat Tabor Academy, Hotchkiss, or St. George’s, we could be in the top 10 in New England. I think they can do it, but they can’t make any mistakes. That’s what we call executing. It’s the small things that change the outcome of the race.”