The Orcas High School Sailing traveled down to San Diego on Memorial Day weekend to participate in the 2018 Baker Team Race National Championships amidst 12 teams from across the nation. Participants journeyed from as far the Virgin Islands, Florida, Minnesota, New England and Texas to compete.
Over two days of breezy sailing in sunny 6-14 knot conditions, the regatta was won by local favorites from Point Loma, San Diego. The competition was fierce with races played out in the form of 3-on-3 team races in 13-foot long, two-person boats, and where strategy often triumphs over boat speed. Orcas managed one win and several close finishes and learned a lot in the process.
Racing against such high caliber teams has been invaluable for these sailors — where they can see tactics unfold in nearly every race that they might only get to experience once or twice a regatta during the regular season.
“I’m so stoked to have seen this group come together to compete as a team at the highest level of high school sailing in the country. They showed a lot of grit while maintaining a positive attitude and having fun together,” said coach Hannah Tuson-Turner. “I couldn’t be more proud of our Orcas Viking athletes, and I’m so thankful for the community support that helped us make it to such exciting and interesting events throughout the season.”
After a long fall and spring season that included three trips to national regattas in San Diego and Houston, the sailors next transition to a summer schedule. Several sailors will be teaching through the Orcas Island Yacht Club Summer Sailing Program and helping with weekly community open sailing events.
Orcas will host the fourth annual Ray Jarecki Regatta held in Westsound where more than 60 youth sailors from across the region will meet over two days of racing on July 7 and 8.