NHS Whalers host Dennis-Yarmouth
May 18, 2011

The Nantucket Whalers sailing team hosted Dennis-Yarmouth on Friday, in a best-of-five series between both the Varsity and JV squads from both schools. Despite excellent sailing by the Varsity Whaler team, Nantucket fell to D-Y in an extremely close 3-2 decision.  The Junior Varsity sailors went winless in four races against the Dolphins. The loss by the Varsity team dropped their overall record to 6-4.


In the first Varsity race, Nantucket came out strong from the start, fighting through an attempt by D-Y to control the start. Junior Ocean Kane and his crew Elizabeth Reed sailed one of their strongest races of the season - a pattern they would continue throughout the day - rounding the windward mark in first, with senior Adam Ceely and his crew Ashleigh Inglis not far behind in second. Ceely saw that his teammate, Marco Bartkowiak with Aber Whiteford aboard as crew, was trailing, and set a trap that simultaneously snared all three D-Y boats, allowing Bartkowiak to go from sixth to second on the final leg of the race. The Whalers finished 1,2,4 and took race one.


The second race was a demonstration of the true importance of the start in sailboat race. Dennis-Yarmouth controlled the entire line, boxing out both Ceely and Bartkowiak. Ocean Kane continued his winning ways, crossing the finish line in first, but the excellent start by D-Y was too much for the Whalers to overcome, and the Dolphins finished 2,3,4 for the win.


In the third race, Dennis-Yarmouth again dominated the starting line. It looked like the Dolphins would sail away with an easy victory, but Ocean Kane sacrificed his first-place standing on the final leg to help his teammates improve their positions. Through his strategic maneuvering, Marco Bartkowiak crossed the finish line first, with Adam Ceely taking fourth and Kane crossing in fifth. That combination gave Nantucket the lead at two races to one.


The fourth race saw Dennis-Yarmouth continue their dominance at the starting line and great teamwork by all the D-Y sailors throughout the duration of the race. Despite excellent sailing again by Ocean Kane, D-Y evened the series at two races apiece by finishing 2,3,4.


In the rubber-match race, Nantucket ended D-Y's dominance of the starting line, as Kane controlled the boat end of the line, blocking out a D-Y sailor trying to barge. It looked like the Whalers were in prime position to close out the series and take the regatta, but the Dennis-Yarmouth sailors sailed an exceptional race, and finished 1,3,5 to take the race and the overall regatta.


Despite the loss, fans of Whaler sailing can take heart in the fact that the younger sailors on the team are showing tremendous skills - both in terms of their sailing and their leadership - and the future is bright. For most of the Junior Varsity sailors, this was their first time to ever take part in a regatta, and each of the young skippers showed plenty of talent upon which the coaching staff can build going forward.


The Whalers host Chatham High School on Wednesday, May 25, in their final home regatta of the season. Nantucket will then play host to the Figawi High School Invitational on Sunday, May 29. 

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