A lofty dream that for many years lived only in conversations in the Falcon’s Nest became a reality over the weekend when the dinghy sail team clinched a spot in the Mallory National Fleet Race Championship, the biggest scholastic regatta in the country.
The elusive milestone, which the Bears came within a single place of attaining last spring, was achieved when the Brook took the third of the top four spots in the MASSA Fleet Championship held in Christchurch, VA on Saturday and Sunday.
Sailing against 17 of the best teams in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states in 12 races across two divisions, the Bears proved themselves worthy of inclusion in the nation’s premier race. Saturday morning on the Rappahannock River began with dense fog and no wind, prompting a two-hour delay. When the wind finally picked up, four Division A races and three Division B races went off before the wind evaporated and racing was called with the Bears in 2nd place overall. Sunday morning began in a similar fashion and racing was delayed until 8-12 mph southerly winds kicked up, allowing for some spirited sailing.
The Division A tandem of Steven Hardee and Sean Beaver earned finishes of 2nd, 2nd, 5th, 12th, 8th, and 7th to finish with 36 points and a tie for 4th. Gavin Hudson and Mairead Reitzel took 3rd place in Division B thanks to finishes of 2nd, 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 7th. The 61 combined points across both divisions gave the Brook a 3rd place finish overall and a spot at Nationals, which begin June 4 in San Diego, CA.
The team is back in action this weekend in Oyster Bay as they look to repeat as New York State Champions.