Lessons Learned for Charles Wright at High School Nationals

FJs on the Charles River (not from this regatta, however)

Remember when we reported that our friends on the Charles Wright High School Sailing Team were headed back east for the high school nationals? Well, they went, they saw, but they didn’t quite conquer, finishing 20th/20.  That said, spirits were high as it was yet another building block adding onto the high school sailing scene here. And there were many positives worth noting. Again, we have Charles Wrights’ Alyosha Strum-Palerm with some “embedded” reporting:

“We had low expectations going into the event. NWISA (Northwest District Interscholastic Sailing Association)  has been a historically weaker district on national regattas due to its relative young age, lower funding, and generally smaller size. Saturday was a tough day vs the larger teams with subs etc..  Sunday(races 15-20) was much better for me, averaging an 11 score over those 6 races.

“The “A” division was so incredibly deep. Everyone had high level boat handling and boat speed so if you made one mistake four boats would pass you. If you got on the wrong end of a shift then half the fleet would pass you. With the frequency and drama of shifts on the Charles, that was the key factor of the weekend. Teams who got consistent good starts had a much easier time of picking their lanes and sailing where they wanted. Everyone else had to pick through chopped up air and second choice lanes and shifts.

Alyosha contributed this photo from the weekend. Looks a bit Northwest-like.

“It was incredible to compete against the best in the country and being in the mix on Sunday was an awesome experience. Hopefully in the next 5-10 years we will have built the culture here in the Northwest to the point where we can compete with the Southern California and east coast teams. Lots of new, young, and motivated coaches are really helping to push the district into a more prominent position in ISSA.”

Support Our Kids!

I’ll just add that we as a sailing community here need to do more to support high school sailing in the area. The scene is active and exciting and the kids are having a blast. That’s all good. But if we want them to do well on the national scene, and graduate kids into high-power university programs, they need more support. While support can mean simply writing checks, there are other ways to help as well like volunteering, donations etc. On a personal note, if you catch wind of a high school regatta near you, go see it. Once you do, it’ll be hard not to offer some kind of support. As Alyosha says, “more involvement from the racing culture is what drives youth programs.”

Earlier today I published a post on the UW Sailing Team, which is headed to South Carolina for the college Nationals women’s and coed doubles at the end of this month. Good luck to them!

A general report and the results from the Mallory Cup, won by Point Loma, can be found here. There was actually live video coverage of the events, and those video links are available on this page.

 

 

 

Kurt grew up racing and cruising in the Midwest, and has raced Lasers since the late 1970s. He has been Assistant Editor at Sailing Magazine and a short stint as Editor of Northwest Yachting. Through Meadow Point Publishing he handles various marketing duties for smaller local companies. He currently is partners on a C&C 36 which he cruises throughout the Northwest. He's married to the amazing Abby and is father to Ian and Gabe.

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