Vineyard sailors eighth in NIT

MVRHS Sailing team, pictured here on May 14, 2014, competed on Saturday at MIT. — courtesy Andrew Burr

Martha’s Vineyard placed eighth of 10 schools at the Interscholastic Sailing Association (ISA) National Invitational Tournament, held May 24-25 at M.I.T.

The Vineyarders, along with Manchester-Essex, and Milton Academy, accepted bids to compete in the NIT, following the New England Team Racing Championship (New England top eight) May 17-18 in Osterville.

Martha’s Vineyard competed in the NIT against top 10 schools from across the country, including Lake Forest (Illinois); Christchurch (Virginia); Antilles (St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands); Minnetonka (Minnesota); Oconomowoc (Wisconsin); Mercy-McQuaid (Rochester, New York); and in-state rivals Milton Academy and Tabor Academy of Marion.

Lake Forest won the event, with Tabor Academy, Manchester-Essex, Milton Academy, and Christchurch rounding out the top five.

Raz Sayre/Anna Flaherty; Eli Hanschka/Zana Van Rooyen; Charlie Morano/Ellie Reagan were the Vineyard skipper/crew combinations for the two-day event.

The Vineyarders were well off their game on Saturday, finishing 2-10. They defeated the eventual champs from Lake Forest and Mercy/McQuaid, but little else went right.

Sunday, with winds at a standstill until the early afternoon, the Purple improved markedly, winning three of four races to finish up 5-11 for the weekend. “They were sailing better, aggressive, working as a unit, as a team,” Coach Andrew Burr said. “It was a little too late, though.”

The Vineyard sailors wrap up the season at the Cape and Islands League Championship, contested Friday on Nantucket and Saturday at the Hyannis Yacht Club.