Vineyard sailors top Bishop Stang, Monomoy

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 sailors picked up a solid Cape and Islands League (CIL) win over Bishop Stang on Tuesday afternoon in Oak Bluffs. Winds on the Lagoon Pond course were shifty, starting from the WSW, then blowing from the SW at 12 knots.

The Vineyarders lost the first race in the best-of-five series on a windward mark trap, but rallied to win the next three. Coach Andrew Burr used the same skipper/crew combinations throughout: Coltrane Leport/Maggie Mayhew; Joe Serpa/Elizabeth O’ Brien, and Patrick Flaherty/Menasha Leport.

The Vineyarders closed out the day with a three-race sweep over CIL opponent Monomoy.

Saturday, the Vineyard sailors raced in a quad-meet against host Tabor Academy, Milton Academy, and Falmouth, Maine, three of the top five teams in New England.

Although the Vineyarders failed to win a race in the three series, they were highly competitive throughout. “It was an excellent day,” Vineyard Coach Andrew Burr said. “Eighty percent of each race was contested, but it was inexperience that got us. We made some great plays but, ultimately, it comes down to boat handling and small mistakes.”

Coach Burr praised his senior skipper, Coltrane Leport. “Coltrane has been driving for two years, and has become one of the best in New England,” he said, adding, “Some of the other skippers have had a tiller in their hands for 10 years. His ability to keep up boat speed–wise and match team racing skills with kids who have raced at this level since they were 6 is remarkable.”

The Vineyarders, currently ranked 19th in New England, sail in Rhode Island on Sunday against Moses Brown, Portsmouth High School, and Duxbury before traveling to Dartmouth for a crucial league meet on Tuesday. MV needs to finish in the top 16 to clinch a postseason berth.