NHS Whalers compete in Nauset
April 28, 2011

The Nantucket High School Sailing Team continued its Spring season immediately after Spring Break with a quad-meet hosted by Nauset High School at the Orleans Yacht Club on Tuesday afternoon, April 26, 2011. The other high schools competing were Bishop Stang and Harwich High School.

The Orleans Yacht Club is situated well inland, at the end of a cove, a setting that mimics sailing on a lake. The conditions were unlike those the Whalers are accustomed to. Despite being used to strong breezes that are so prevalent in our area during the spring, our sailors aren't used to dealing with the big gusts and constantly shifting winds that are the hallmarks of lake sailing. The competition started with a southerly breeze blowing 5-10 knots with gusts to 15; after the first race, the wind increased to 10-12 knots, gusting to over 18 knots.

In the first round, Nantucket sailed against Nauset.  The two teams were evenly matched with Adam Ceely (and crew Ashleigh Inglis) taking Nauset Warrior Duncan Howes over the starting line early in every race, forcing the Nauset boat to have to restart each time. Whaler co-captain Mariah Jones made some very aggressive moves (with crew Abergavenny Whiteford) on the downwind leg, executing some tight jibes in order to defend her position on the course. In the best-of-five series, Nantucket came out on top 3-2, but there was a protest in the second race and they'd have to wait until the end of the day to learn the outcome of the series in the protest hearing room. 

In the second round, the Whalers were matched against Harwich in a best-of-three series. There were very competitive starts in this series, highlighted by the ones executed by junior Ocean Kane and his crew Elizabeth Reed, a team that has been a formidable force to be reckoned with this season.  Nantucket dominated the series 2-1.

By the end of the 2nd round, the sun had set and the fog had rolled in again, and the coaches decided to reschedule the 3rd round between Nantucket and Bishop Stang for another time. 

Then it was off to the protest room to decide the fate of Round 1 against Nauset.  After both sides presented their case to the protest judge, it was decided that Nantucket fouled Nauset at the start of race 2 and therefore Nauset got the win, and ultimately the series, for a 3-2 finish over the Whalers.

Nantucket's overall record for the meet was 1-1 and the overall record for the season is 3-2, putting them at mid-fleet in the Cape & Islands League. The May schedule includes several home regattas, including Friday, May 6, when Nantucket plays host to the Cape and Islands Women's Championship and Saturday, May 7, when the Whaler's take on the always strong team from Tabor Academy.

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