The regional high school sailing team competed in the National Invitational Tournament last weekend, placing eighth of 10 teams. The team gained entry into the tournament after competing in the New England Sailing Schools Association championship races on May 17.
After qualifying for the Fritz Mark trophy race in Hyannis last weekend, the Vineyarders thought they had missed the chance to move on to the national invitational, despite a hard-fought comeback at the end. Now another team has dropped out and Island sailors will race in Cambridge this weekend.
Unlike other spring sports at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, sailing can’t move indoors in inclement weather.
The team is on the water most afternoons, after catching the bus from school to Sailing Camp Park (parent organization Sail MV provides the facilities and equipment for the team). When it rains, they rig up the boats. When there’s no wind, they go out and practice nonetheless. And if there’s a late-season snow shower, well, the team’s still on the water. About the only thing that can keep them inside is lightning.
Like so many Vineyarders do, the high school sailing team gathered Monday afternoon at the Steamship Authority docks to wait for a boat.
Or, more specifically, their six boats, which rolled off the Island Home on the back of a trailer to much applause and cheering.
Thanks to gifts from Sail MV benefactors — the program provides equipment and a home base for the team — the team was able to purchase brand new 420s for the fleet. This is the first new fleet in the program’s history; previous boats were always purchased used.