The 2008 NESSA Women’s Invite Herreshoff Trophy races have been on the DHS sailing schedule since the start of the season, and the team was looking forward to competing in the annual women’s only trophy event.

 

By SALLY RUNCI

The 2008 NESSA Women’s Invite Herreshoff Trophy races have been on the DHS sailing schedule since the start of the season, and the team was looking forward to competing in the annual women’s only trophy event.{sidebar id=4}

But just five days before its scheduled date (May 10/11), the sailing team qualified for fleet racing Nationals in Annapolis. Varsity Coach Hans Jensen announced that the top female skipper and three varsity female crews would be heading south to Maryland, instead of north to Portland, ME. With enough time left to withdraw without penalty, JV Coach Rob Knecht looked to his younger ladies and asked if they would fill the open slots.

Five girls accepted the challenge, and sailed their hearts out on Saturday in Portland Harbor under the watchful eye of Bates College senior Sarah Hoyt, who also happens to be the DBMS 420 sailing coach.{sidebar id=1}

No stranger to the area, Hoyt was able to provide local knowledge and good advice as the girls faced stiff competition from experienced and top ranking teams such as St. Georges, Tabor, and a strong home team in Chevrus. The race organizers kept the A and B fleets on the water simultaneously, which made for a long, exhausting day for all the sailors.

With only 20 minutes for a lunch break in between six hours of sailing, endurance was a big factor with the Duxbury team, as freshman skipper Allison Shane started out with Morgan Gould, and after lunch took on Emma Segalla as her crew. Sophomore Ashley Magnuson and crew Liz Runci stayed in for the whole day.

Eleven teams from New England competed, and after the first four sets of races the Lady Dragons were in fifth place despite gusty and oscillating winds of 12-18 knots, and a significant current with the incoming tide.

As the day wore on, the young Duxbury team could not keep its boats flat or optimally trim its sails because of pure physical exhaustion. They did manage to complete 12 sets of races, and in the process slipped just one place to sixth behind St. Georges, Tabor, Chevrus, Hotchkiss and Rogers.{sidebar id=6}