High school sailing

Rockland top Maine team at Downeast Championships

Camden Hills squad also among the top finishers
By Staff | May 18, 2016
Courtesy of: David H. Lyman Blustery conditions on May 15 made for exciting and wet high school sailboat racing at the Downeast Championships in Castine. Here Camden Hills' sailors Emmett Costa and Renaissance Lyman (18) tack into the fleet.

Castine — The Rockland Community High School sailing team certainly has come a long way since its inception six years ago, and the squad's success reached new heights on Saturday and Sunday, May 14-15 with a third-place finish at the Downeast Championships, according to team officials.

The Rockland team edged Maine-rival Yarmouth, which finished fourth, to be the top Maine team in the regatta, said team officials.

The Downeast event is hosted by Maine Maritime Academy and is Maine’s oldest high school sailing regatta. It attracts the toughest competition of any Maine event, drawing powerhouse teams such as Tabor Academy of Marion, Mass. and Marblehead High School of Marblehead, Mass.

The pace set by the competition is unforgiving, as the Rockland team has learned over the years, said Rockland coach Patrick DiLalla. This year’s finish capped steady progression up the ranks for the team.

Senior skipper Jesse Dunn, who led the team in the A Division with crews Andy Bird and Hallie McDougall, had a personal-best performance in his fourth and final Downeast regatta.

The coach said Dunn was relentless on the race course, catching boats from behind all weekend, and too fast to catch when ahead at the start. Dunn also made a crucial decision to take penalty turns for a questionable foul in the third race, something not often seen at the high school level. Dunn and Bird lost three boats while taking their turns, then picked up two of those boats on the next leg.

Junior skipper Peter Galloway and crew Elliot Spear also had a strong showing, and claimed fourth in the B Division. Consistency was the name of the game, the coach said, and Galloway and Spear never finished below eighth, despite being over the start line early on two occasions, and having to back track to start behind the entire fleet. The pair came roaring back from 17th to fifth in one of the races.

Also sailing for Rockland were Jillian Galloway, Warren Galloway, Claudia Fox and Hannah Chase. A second Rockland team finished ninth among 17 teams.

Tori Willauer, sailing director at The Apprenticeshop, said that in the past, at Downeast Invitational events, the only teams eligible for state school trophies were complete school teams and not conglomerates. However, that appears to have changed.

The scoring from the event shows Rockland Community Sailing in third placed overall and first for conglomerate teams by points. It also shows Camden Hills in eighth overall (by points) and third for official school teams.

The overall team scores were: Tabor Academy 48, Belmont Hill 60, Rockland Community Sailing (conglomerate) 86, Yarmouth (conglomerate) 89, Mount Desert Island (conglomerate) 96, Marblehead (conglomerate) 103, Southern Maine (conglomerate) 109, Camden Hills 118, Rockland Community Sailing (conglomerate) 163, George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill 180, Cheverus of Portland 183, Boothbay Harbor Community Sailing (conglomerate) 188, Mount Desert Island 194, Northern Vermont Community Sailing (conglomerate) 197, Burlington 200, Portland (conglomerate) 205 and Mount Desert Island/Camden Hills High School 24.

Camden Hills finished third among high school squads at the regatta.

The two-day event saw slow sailing conditions on Saturday with warm sunny skies and winds near calm to 12 knots, said David Lyman. Sunday began clear and warm, but the winds become blustery toward noon steady at 12 to 15, with gusting to 20 knots, he said. Threatening skies approaching from the west cut racing short by two hours in the early afternoon.

Maine Maritime Academy hosted nearly 80 sailors, coaches and parents.

The big air on Sunday, Lyman said, favored the Camden crews with teams placing in the top 10, contributing to the third-place scoring.

For Camden Hills, Simon Morin, skipper, and crew Abby Chamberlin earned a first — five-boat-lengths ahead of the fleet — along with a second during Sunday’s sequence of races. Hugh Levitt, skipper, and crew, Erin Dowd, also placed Sunday.

The fleet in action. (Courtesy of: David H. Lyman)
Camden Hills' Simon Morin, the skipper, left, and Erin Dowd take first and second races. (Courtesy of: David H. Lyman)
Rockland coach Patrick DiLilla, right, talks with Rockland sailors Hannah Chase, front, and Jillian Gallaway. (Courtesy of: David H. Lyman)
The fleet in action. (Courtesy of: David H. Lyman)
Rockland Community Sailing's high school team includes, from left, Andy Bird, Warren Galloway, Jillian Galloway, Elliot Spear, Peter Galloway, Jesse Dunn, Hannah Chase, Claudia Fox and Hallie MacDougal. The Galloways are triplets and attend The Watershed School in Camden. (Courtesy of: David H. Lyman)
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