Martha’s Vineyard sailors make first ever Mark Trophy

For the first time in the high school program’s history, the Vineyarders are in the elite field of eight schools sailing for a New England championship.

The Vineyard sailing entourage returned home on the ferry Saturday evening following the big win over St. George's. — Photo courtesy of Andrew Burr

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School sailing team has been selected to compete with seven other schools for the prestigious Mark Trophy New England Team Racing Championships for the first time in the program’s history, the New England Scholastic Sailing Association (NESSA) announced Tuesday evening.

The top eight team racing squads in New England are selected to compete in the event, scheduled for Saturday, May 17 at Wianno Yacht Club in Osterville. The Vineyarders are currently ranked sixth in New England with a 19-3 record.

“It’s a huge, huge deal for the guys to qualify for this,” Vineyard coach Andrew Burr said. “It’s absolutely unbelieveable to make it into Mark. They’re pretty damn good. It’s quite an accomplishment.”

The Vineyarders will join the St. George’s School (Newport, Rhode Island); Portsmouth Abbey (Portsmouth, R.I.); Cape Cod Academy (Osterville), Manchester-Essex; Milton Academy; Hotchkiss (Lakeville, Connecticut); and the Brunswick School (Greenwich, Conn.). The Vineyarders handed St. George’s and Brunswick their only defeats this season and lost to Cape Cod Academy and Manchester-Essex.

At stake in the Mark is qualification for the Baker Trophy, the high school nationals, which will be in contested May 24-25 at Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook, Texas, near Houston.