The Apprenticeshop's Rockland Community Sailing team won the first regatta of the season in the Pen Bay League under perfect conditions on Sunday, April 23.

Twenty-four sailors from Boothbay Region Sailing Club, Camden Hills Regional High School, Isleboro/Big Tree Boating and Rockland Community Sailing raced on Sunday, April 23 at the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club.

“This is what it’s all about," said coach Mike Horn of Isleboro/Big Tree Boating, "that was the best sailing yet in the league.”

The first Pen Bay League event of 2017 will be followed on Saturday, May 6 with a team race at the annual Hospice Regatta, hosted by the Apprenticeshop.

The Pen Bay League began last year with the coaches from Rockland, Mount Desert Island, George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill, Camden Hills, Isleboro and Boothbay Region Sailing Club having the idea of maximizing the number of races in nearby venues.

Several teams have sailors (some still in middle school) from different schools which limits participation in New England Scholastic Sailing Association (NESSA) events. However, the  Pen Bay League gives young Midcoast sailors an opportunity to compete in events not inhibited by rules of NESSA.

Boats are equally matched and rotations are minimized so sailors can get 10 races per day compared with four to six races at other events.

Venues rotate between Rockland, MDI and Boothbay. Host sailors’ families provide food and drink, while the frequent competition enhances the camaraderie and sportsmanship among sailors from different teams.

On April 23, three races began in light, fickle winds shifting from north to west. The Boothbay "A" boat sailed by Ella Beauregard and Hamilton Barclay, aided by local knowledge and light weight, won races 1 and 2 and took second in race 3.

As the seabreeze came in from the south and grew to 16 knots, the pair had to work hard to win the fourth race and looked like they would romp to a series victory.

The Isleboro sisters Emily and Sophie Lau won race 3 while Rockland’s Galloway triplets (Jillian, Peter and Warren) came in first, second, and fourth in race 5. Isleboro’s sibling boat came right back to win race 6 to end any notion of one team winning with ease.

As the wind and seas built most sailors found smaller waves in the lee of Tumbler Island on the upwind leg.

In races 6-10, the "B" Boats came into their own as Rockland and Isleboro won races.

Proving that depth on a team makes all sailors better, Rockland’s "C" boat won a race too.

The Boothbay "A" boat took second in race 10 to seal a four-point win over Isleboro's "A" boat, with the Rockland "A" boat two points further back.

The overall win went to Rockland as its "B" boat, sailed by Warren Galloway and Nathan Roberts, had a commanding lead in the "B" Division, 14 points better than the Isleboro "B" boat sailed by Rylee Sienkiewicz and Lake Lindelof.

Charles Barclay of Boothbay Harbor provided much of the writing and information for this story.