| Wednesday, 18 April 2012 14:00
The Duxbury High School sailing team started off the 2012 season with style. It is hard to miss the menacing dragon staring out to sea emblazoned on the sails of the team’s sailboats as they race around Duxbury Bay. The new sails not only look great, but they have been a huge contributor to the team’s morale and spirit. The kids like to say the “eye of the dragon” is looking down at them as they compete in their races.
Sailing coach Chris Lash says the new sails have made the team more efficient. Practices run smoother with fewer breakdowns, and everyone can be on the water at the same time because the team now has twelve boats with exactly the same sails on each boat. In past years a lot of time was wasted on taping sails and making other repairs to, worn out sails. With the previous sails, some were deeper, and some were considered better. Now it is an even, consistent platform where all sails are trimmed the same and sailors are not vying for certain sails to gain an edge in races.
The sailing team competes as a part of NESSA, or New England Scholastic Sailing Association. Last year they approached the Duxbury Boosters requesting a grant to fund new sails. The Boosters recognized the importance of this grant and donated $5,700.00 to fund six new sails. The Duxbury Bay Maritime School was also very generous when in stepped in and matched the grant. Now all twelve sailing boats (known as 420’s) are equipped with state-of-the-art sails.
Coach Lash says having matching sails opens up the team to many more opportunities. “At the end of the season we will be hosting the Mass Bay League, and having all the boats the same makes the rotation easy.” In prior years the team could not host a regatta because the junior varsity sails were so bad.
Lash has been coaching the sailing team for three years, and he is also the Junior Sailing Program Director for DBMS. Lash grew up sailing in Newport, R.I. and at The College of Charleston. He enjoys seeing the kids in the program share his passion for the sport. This year’s varsity team is led by captains Ian Ikeda and Alec Stewart. There are a total of about thirty members between varsity and junior varsity, and the team is about seventy percent boys and thirty percent girls. Even though it has been a mild spring, it is a different world on the water. The air is much cooler and water temperatures are frigid in the 40’s. All sailors are required to wear dry suits and waterproof boots, which don’t come cheap. A dry suit can cost between $500-800 and sailing boots run $60-80. It is part of the uniform and the sailors know that warm weather is on the horizon.
Coach Lash says visiting towns always comment on how lucky the Duxbury sailing team is to have access to the campus of the beautiful Duxbury Bay Maritime School, and its prime location overlooking Duxbury Bay. The Duxbury High School sailing team was formed in 1999 and since then many Duxbury High School sailors have gone on to sail in college, and even if they don’t, they have learned a skill they can take with them and enjoy throughout life. The Duxbury Boosters are proud to support the Duxbury High School sailing team, and funding new sails is just one of the many ways the Boosters gives back to the Duxbury High School athletic programs.