The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) sailors hosted 11 schools from throughout New England in the annual Arnold Brown Regatta, Saturday on Lagoon Pond and won for the first time since 2008.
The Vineyarders edged out second-place Marblehead in the overall score by two points, 52-54. Lincoln Academy of Newcastle, Maine, was third with 60 points, followed by Barrington, R.I. (fourth, 70); Moses Brown of Providence (fifth, 75); Manchester/Essex (sixth, 76); Champlain Valley Union of Hinesburg, Vt. (seventh, 78); Barnstable (eighth, 81); Portland, Maine (ninth, 96); Burlington, Vt. (10th, 143); Litchfield, Conn. (11th, 155); and the Forman School, also of Litchfield, Conn. (12th, 165).
The Arnold Brown is a fleet racing event, divided into A and B Divisions.
The teams sailed in W-4s and W-3s on a picture-perfect September day through seven races in each division. with eight- to 10-knot south-southwest winds which quickly went right and built to 12 to 18 with gusts to 25. Racing was close throughout the day.
In A Division, the Vineyarders finished sixth with 36 points, and won the first race. Miles Wolff skippered in races 1 through 4 and 7, with Zach Ward at the helm in races 5 and 6. Henry Kyburg Abbott was crew in races 1 through 4, and Trent Bilodeau in races 5 through 7.
Joe Serpa skippered with Abigail Hammarlund on crew in all seven B Division races as the Vineyarders took second place with 16 points. MVRHS won the first two races and added a pair of seconds and thirds.
By winning the Arnold Brown, the Vineyarders qualified for the Atlantic Coast Championships at the Toms River Yacht Club in New Jersey, Nov. 8-10. Thanks to a second-place finish in a qualifying race at Sail Black Rock in Bridgeport, Conn., on Sept. 14, the Vineyarders are also headed to New Orleans, the week before Thanksgiving, to sail in the Great Oaks, a national one-division event limited to 30 schools and one boat each.
The stellar Vineyard effort last Saturday also bodes well for the spring high school season to come. Last year, MV finished the season ranked 11th in New England, and sailed for the Terk Trophy. Next spring, the Vineyarders are aiming for the President’s Trophy (formerly the Mark Trophy), reserved for the top eight teams in New England.
“This is the stepping stone that gets us back into the top eight next spring,” Vineyard Coach Andrew Burr said. “Because of their success last spring, they all have that realization that they are going to be in the top eight in New England, and it solidifies that belief in themselves.”