NHS Host Chatham and Finish Season with Figawi High School Invitational
May 31, 2011

NHS Host Chatham and Finish Season with Figawi High School Invitational

The Nantucket Whalers' sailing season come to an end on a positive note this week, with a five-race sweep over the Chatham Blue Devils last Wednesday and a third-place finish in the Figawi High School Invitaitonal on Sunday.

Against Chatham, the Whalers were privy to a glimpse into the crystal ball for next season, and all signs point to a continuing of the success they've experienced this year. Juniors Alex Cooker and Ocean Kane skippered showed that they are going to be forces to be reckoned with next season, as they were both aggressive at the starts and incorporating fantastic team racing strategies.

Cooker started things off in the first race, dominating the start and controlling the fleet all the way to the first mark, which the Whalers rounded 1, 2, 3. Cooker would go on to take first place, with Adam Ceely in second and Kane in fourth.

Race two began much the same way, with Cooker dominating the pin end of the starting line while Ceely took his Chatham opponent over the line early. The major drama of the day came on the first leg of the race, when a Chatham sailor on port tack violated the primary right-of-way rule of sailing and collided directly with Kane, sailing on starboard tack. Ocean was knocked off course, but recovered nicely and the Whalers again finished 1, 2, 4.

The third race was a blueprint of the second, with the Whalers dominant at the starting line and controlling the race from start to finish. Race four saw Ocean Kane perform a textbook boat-end start, taking his Chatham  counterpart into the committee boat and forcing them to tack away in order to start.

Race five was truly a thing of beauty. The Whalers came to the starting line in what can only be called a phalanx of dominance, blocking the entire Chatham team and sailing together in a group upwind. Senior Adam Ceely and his crew, fellow senior Ashleigh Inglis, inched ahead at the start, rounded each mark in first and were the first to cross the finish line, ending their Whaler team-racing  careers in the perfect Hollywood ending.

The winds on Sunday morning were much improved for sailing over the prior day's lack of any discernible breeze, and seniors Adam Ceely and Ashleigh Inglis took to the water for the final race of their Nantucket careers in the annual Figawi High School Invitational against eleven other schools. The fleet race has become a highly-anticipated event by coaches and sailors from across the region, and it attracts the best fleet racers from the Cape and Islands. And this year's race was no exception.

Of the twelve schools represented in the race, six different boats finished in first place over the course of the day's racing, an indication of the skill level present. When the final scores were tallied, Ceely and Inglis had finished third, a grand jewel on the top of what has been a remarkable four-year career for the duo. Ceely will be at the University of Vermont in the fall, and Inglis will be attending Harvard. Both schools will certainly be the better for having them on campus.

Nantucket Community Sailing has been the driving force and support behind the Nantucket High School sailing team, and Diana Brown, CEO of Community Sailing, said, "All of us at Nantucket Community Sailing are proud of the accomplishments of the high school sailing team this season. The experienced sailors not only helped teach the inexperienced sailors, but improved their own sailing abilities as well. Nantucket High School Sailing team members are encouraged to continue their sailing at our NCS Jetties Beach location this summer at no charge.  All they have to do to participate is sign up with the NCS office."

With a core group of dedicated sailors returning next season, the Whalers sailing team will be in prime position to build on the accomplishments of this season and stake their claim as one of the region's finest teams.

P.O. Box 2424, Nantucket, MA 02584
NCS Office: 508-228-6600 | Jetties Sailing Center: 508-228-5358
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