An O’Day to remember for MVRHS sailors

Vineyarders qualify second at Tabor; sail third in B Division at Hotchkiss.

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The MVRHS sailing team placed second in the O'Day fleet racing qualifiers on Saturday in Marion. — Andrew Burr

The Vineyarders sailed to a solid second-place finish in the O’Day fleet racing qualifiers on Saturday at Tabor Academy in Marion to claim one of three regional berths in the finals.

With a solid, shifty breeze from the WSW blowing on Sippican Harbor, host Tabor finished first with 38 points, with the Vineyarders second (66 points), and Barrington, R.I. (78), beating out Dartmouth and Barnstable for the third spot among the nine teams. In nine A Division races, skipper Joe Serpa and crew Abigail Hammarlund, both Vineyard juniors, earned a win in race three and a second place in race six. In B Division, freshman skipper Miles Wolff and sophomore crew Caleb Burt took a first and two seconds, with Wolff and sophomore crew Ashtyn Watts adding a second and a third in consecutive races. “They sailed really well, very consistent all day long,” Vineyard Coach Andrew Burr said. “They never had any big hiccups.”

On Sunday, the Vineyarders sailed for the O’Day Trophy in the New England Schools Sailing Association (NESSA) Fleet Racing Championships at Lake Wononscopomuc in Lakeville, Conn. The venue, a small lake surrounded by hills, is a difficult one. “There was no breeze at the beginning, then the southeast came in and it was hiking conditions, shifty,” Coach Burr said. “We had a consistently good breeze the rest of the day, 15 knots. It was really good sailing. We had to wait for it, but it was worth it. Sailing in shifts is hard because you’re going to be wrong sometimes. It’s mentally draining; it’s a long, long day.”

MVRHS placed 10th overall among 15 schools in the finals, finishing above Dover-Sherborn, Greenwich Academy (Conn.), Cambridge Rindge and Latin, Newton Country Day School, and Boston College High School. The Vineyarders had their best results in B Division, taking third place behind the St. George’s School of Newport, R.I., and host Hotchkiss as Miles Wolff and Ashtyn Watts placed second in race two, and won race five.

“It was a great weekend. It was awesome to qualify [for the championships],” Coach Burr said. “For Miles and Ashtyn to get third, it’s an amazing finish. In B Division, I don’t think I’ve ever had a boat finish that high.”

The Vineyarders sail again on Saturday in a quad team race at Sharon against Manchester Essex; the Buckingham, Browne and Nichols School of Cambridge; and Sharon High School.