Milton’s Speedy Sailing
by Charlie Blasberg on Friday, June 8th, 2012This year’s sailing team has come a long way over the course of their 2012 season. The beginning of the season brought the challenge of integrating several rookie sailors and a new coach into the rotation. For the first few meets of the season, veteran coach Judy Krimski and assistant coach Kip Watson fiddled with starting line ups, tweaking different combinations to find the group of skippers and crews that formed the best three-boat team.
The Mustangs had a strong start, but after mid-season losses to Duxbury and Portsmouth Abbey, the team realized that they needed to step up their game if they hoped to find a berth in the postseason. The Mustangs pulled together to grind out two gutsy wins against Hotchkiss and Cape Cod Academy, sealing a spot in the Wildcard Weekend. In the New England Schools Sailing Association (NESSA), the top five ranked teams earn spots in the New England Championship, and the next three spots are given to the winners of each of the three Wildcard Weekends. Milton battled against Fairfield Prep, Falmouth, and North Kingston for an entire day. With outstanding performances by Russell Clarida (IV) and Alistair Hutchings (I), Milton earned a berth in the New England Championships.
The New England Championships took place at Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Despite winds of 10 to 15 knots, the Mustangs displayed phenomenal boat handling, scoring impressive wins over Cape Cod Academy and Greenwich High School. Even sweeter than those victories was the redemption that the Stangs claimed in their victories over both Duxbury and Portsmouth Abbey. After the first day, Milton was locked in 4th place, qualifying for the Atlantic Coast Challenge. This was the first time Milton had qualified for the Atlantic Coast Challenge in nearly 10 years.
The weekend after New Englands, the Mustangs loaded up the vans again on their way to Osterville. Teams traveled to this regatta from as far as Tampa, Chicago, New Jersey, and Minnesota. While Milton sailed with concentration and skill, rankings at the end of Day 1 held Tampa Jesuit School, from Tampa, Florida, on top, with Milton in a three-way tie for second. Day 2 brought a series of successes for Milton as the Mustangs won six out of their seven races. Alex King (II) executed his extensive tactical knowledge beautifully in the final races, and through a last-minute maneuver Milton managed to squeeze past Barnstable at the finish of the final race, edging them out to achieve 2nd place in the regatta.
There is no doubt that this year’s sailing season was a success. The team exceeded expectations by its outstanding performances at the New England Championships and Atlantic Coast Challenge, sailing competitively with the best teams in the nation. Next season, Milton will have a target on its back as the team to beat in New England.
Short URL: http://miltonmeasure.org/?p=3738