No wind, no problem for Red Jacket Youth Sailing regatta participantsCamden, Castine, Boothbay, North Haven earn first places
Rockland — No wind. No problem. At least for the nearly 60 ingenious youngsters who made the most of the challenging weather conditions to compete in the ninth annual Red Jacket Youth Sailing Regatta July 29 in Rockland Harbor, about 1/4-mile west of the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse.
The regatta, which ran from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., included overcast conditions with some light rain.
None of that put a damper on the event for the 59 sailors from 10 Maine sailing clubs who participated in the regatta, started by Rockland Community Sailing in 2004 to foster the sportsmanship, teamwork, and sailing skills that racing develops in youth.
The event had a true Midcoast feel as the 10 participating teams included: Rockland Community Sailing, St. George Community Sailing, North Haven Casino, Camden Yacht Club, Rockport Boat Club, Northport Yacht Club, Stockton Harbor Sailing Center, Castine Yacht Club, Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club and Lincolnville Boat Club.
Kevin "KC" Heyniger, waterfront programs director of The Apprenticeshop, said conditions included cloudy skies with occasional light sprinkles, light fog at times and temperature 60-63 degrees, with calm seas. The winds were light and variable northeasterly 3 to 5 knots, with occasional puffs to 8 knots.
“Enthusiasm and great racing overcame the light winds and drizzle," said Heyniger, who thanked sponsors Allen Insurance and Financial, Domino’s Pizza, Green Thumb Nursery, Maritime Energy, Prock Marine Company and WERU, as well as the nearly 30 volunteers who ran boats, races, the barbecue, registrations and other tasks that helped make the event a success.
Heyniger said light winds kept the boats moving steady except for one 15-minute lull. “Considering the no-wind forecast we were grateful for even this light steady breeze," he said. "We completed 14 races — a tribute to the sailors making their boats sail well in such light wind and the race committee managing the courses efficiently."
He said the sailors raced in single-person, eight-foot Optimist prams and two-person, 14-foot sloops called 420s. Each race lasted 10-15 minutes and required sailors to utilize sailing and boat handling skills while understanding how to best use the wind and weather to sail around the one-fourth-mile courses.
Both fleets raced at the same time but on different courses. The race committee ran two start lines at the same time — one for the Optimist fleet and the other for the 420 fleet. The start lines extended from each side of the race committee boat, a Saga 48 “Altair,” owned by Apprenticeshop board member Rick Palm.
“It’s a little bit like the Olympics with multiple race activities occurring simultaneously. Or maybe a three-ring circus,” Heyniger said of the dual starts.
Rockland Community Sailing provided the boats for the visiting teams. Along with coaching the RCS “home team,” RCS instructors David Beauchesne, Robin Lewis, Devon Gordon, Martha Moskowitz and Aidan Gordon "did an outstanding job preparing boats and assisting the 150 racers, coaches, parents, and spectators throughout the day," Heyniger said.
The teams raced in “A” and “B” Divisions in a rotation that allowed more sailors to race on fewer boats. “A” Division sailors raced twice, then landed on a float and switched with “B” Division sailors, who raced twice and then switched again with “A” Division. This rotation continued throughout the regatta.
The top finishers by clubs in each division were:
Optimist "A" Division — 1, Camden Yacht Club; 2, Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club; and 3, North Haven Casino.
Optimist "B" Division — 1, Boothbay Yacht Club; 2, Camden Yacht Club; and 3, Castine Yacht Club.
420 "A" Division — 1, Castine Yacht Club; 2, Camden Yacht Club; and 3, Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club.
420 "B" Division — 1, North Haven Casino; 2, Boothbay Yacht Club; and 3, Rockport Boat Club.
The top overall clubs were: 1, Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club; 2, Camden Yacht Club; and 3, Castine Yacht Club.
Trophies were hand-made mahogany “belaying pins” similar to ones used on Rockland’s fast and famous clipper ship Red Jacket for which the race is named. Hundreds of belaying pins were used on clipper ships to secure lines controlling dozens of sails flying from the ship’s towering masts. Launched in 1853 next to what is now the Apprenticeshop pier, the 250-foot Red Jacket set sailing records that stand to this day and was widely known for its beautiful craftsmanship. The ship’s name was selected for the regatta to foster connections between today’s youth sailors and Maine’s rich sailing and boat-building heritage.
Heyniger said the coaches award was given to the sailor who understands racing, learn from their coaches, and put their knowledge to work. This year's winner was Isabel Lieser of the Castine Yacht Club."
Lieser displayed strong integrity throughout the day," Heyniger said. "Sailors are required to be self-policing when they break rules, do penalty circles, then continue racing. If not done, sailors can resort to protests after the race if needed. Liesner displayed the solid integrity coaches like to see by consistently doing penalty turns and avoiding protests. Liesner received a copy of Maritime America by Peter Neill, former president of South Street Seaport in New York. The book illustrates America’s rich maritime heritage with boats, art, and nautical artifacts photographed from across the country."
The sportsmanship award was the highlight, Heyniger said. "It is given to a sailor exemplifying the great attitude and competitive spirit found in excellent sportsmanship." This year’s winner was Nick Goodrich of Lincolnville Boat Club.
"Nick was new to sailing," Heyniger said. "This was his first time racing in the smaller Optimist dinghy. While stepping aboard the tippy boat, he accidentally fell in the water. Completely unfazed, he got out, got right back in the boat and raced like nothing had happened. Afterwards, he even said it was fun. Goodrich’s unflappable, non-complaining, and racing-focused attitude displays the good-natured sportsmanship we like to honor at the Red Jacket Regatta.”
The sportsmanship trophy is an old wood rudder. Each year the winner engraves their name and club into a brass plate, then screws it onto the rudder themselves. This unique ceremony reflects the “hand-on” philosophy found in The Apprenticeshop and their legacy of inspiring personal growth through craftsmanship, community and the traditions of the sea.
Heyniger said David Jones, Rick Palm, Julie Palm, Scott Carlson, Ship Safford, Chris Richmond, Dorrie Higbee, Brian Miller, Bob White, Margaret Macleod, Kirk Folk, Don and Jody Abbott, Walt Matthews, Fred Boursier, Patrick DiLalla, Tom Goettel, Mike Root, Steve Moskowitz, Sam Moskowitz, Elise Laslavic, Erica Crane, Parker Chamberlin, Bill Garver, David Beauchesne, Robin Lewis, Devon Gordon, Martha Moskowitz and Aidan Gordon were instrumental in the success of the event.
The sailing team participants were:
Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club — Coaches/instructors: Colin Phelan and Sara Mac Swanson. Markus Russell, 11, Opti A; Ryan Russell, 9, Opti B; Katherine Clark, 16, 420 Skipper A; Sally McGee, 13, 420 Crew A; Corey Wise, 15, 420 Skipper B; and Corinne Poitras, 14, 420 Crew B. Volunteers: J.H. Russell and M.J. Poitras.
Camden Area Youth Seamanship Program — Coach/instructor: Andrew Beauchesne. Patrick Daly, 10, Opti A; Max Moore, 10, Opti B; Simon Morin, age unavailable, 420 Skipper A; Lydia Morin, age unavailable 420 Crew A. Program director: Sue Conover.
Castine Yacht Club — Coaches/instructors: Maggie Hynes and Emily Bicks. Sylas Oberting, 10, Opti A; Milena Kitterman, 10, Opti B; Olivia Bicks, 16, 420 Skipper A; Liddy Salter, 15, 420 Crew A; Avery Bicks, 14, 420 Skipper B; David Clossey, 17, 420 Crew B; and Isabel Lieser, 10, alternate.
Lincolnville Boat Club — Coaches/instructors: Steve Nystrom and Nick Bennett. Nick Goodrich, age unavailable, 420 Skipper B; Jono Crutcher, 11, 420 Skipper A; Tora Decker-Griffith, 13, 420 Skipper A; Jasper Louden, 10, 420 Skipper B; and Samuel Luft, 10, 420 Crew B
North Haven Casino — Coaches/instructors: Sumner Fisher and Sarah Hyman. Sam Ives, 9, Opti A; Q. Mooney, 9, Opti B; Will Tag Liamonte, 13, 420 Skipper A; Suki Hyman, 14, 420 Crew A; Felxi Wolfram, 12, 420 Skipper B; Sofia Schafer, 12, 420 Crew B; and Andrew Pearce, age unavailable, alternate
Northport Yacht Club — Coach/instructor: Jim Kelly. Ethan Ekberg, 12, Opti A; Peter Knott, Opti B; Charlie Kelly, 14, 420 Skipper A; Jake Kelly, 420 Crew A; Ben Webster, 13, 420 Skipper B; and Ally Sobota, 14, 420 Crew B.
Rockland Community Sailing — Coaches/instructors: David Beauchesne and Robin Lewis. Rachel Guinther, 14, Opti A; Emily Guinther, 14, Opti B; Harper Gordon, 14, 420 Skipper A; Lousia Crane, 14, 420 Crew A; Isabel Crane, 14, 420 Skipper B; Elena Lausten, 15, 420 Crew B; Mazlin Higbee, 15, 420 Skipper alternate; and Nick Stewart, age unavailable, Opti alternate.
Rockport Boat Club — Coaches/instructors: Nick White, Alistair Phaup and Chrissy Shyne. Zoe Zwecker, age unavailable, 420 Skipper A; Abby Chamberlain, 13, 420 Crew B; Thatcher Chamberlain, 15, 420 Skipper B; and Wilson McKay, 420 Crew A.
St. George Community Sailing — Coaches/instructors: Will Gibrey, Jaime de Benito, Cam Deignan and Jack Hupper. Marieta de Benito, age unavailable, Opti A; Nate Ruffle-Deignan, age unavailable, Opti B; Alvaro de Benito, 13, 420 Skipper A; Thomas Amirault, 14, 420 Crew A; Zach Cody, 11, 420 Skipper B; and Sean Kelley, 13, 420 Crew B
Stockton Harbor Sailing Center — Coaches/ Instructors: Keith Bradley and Betsy Bradley. William Bradley, 10, Opti A; Kerrigan Smith, 10, Opti B; William Nichols, 17, 420 Skipper A; Garrett smith, 13, 420 Crew A; Kyle Nichols, 14, 420 Skipper B; and Will Collins, 14, 420 Crew B
Courier Publications Sports Director Ken Waltz can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email at email@example.com.