SWCS Takes Fifth, Sixth At Cleveland Regatta

Above are members of the Southwestern sailing team, which competed in The Foundry in Cleveland last weekend. In the front row, from the left, are Victoria Smith and Brooks Turcotte. In the back row are John Kelly, Will Turner, Mathew Condor, Patrick Kelly, Autumn Bertges, A.J. Smith and Cameron Turner. Submitted photo

CLEVELAND — Southwestern sailors took part in a two-day event that culminated in some tough competition in light wind earlier this month.

Southwestern sent two full teams, comprised of eight sailors, to compete at The Foundry last Sunday, finishing the day with fifth- and sixth-place overall out of a total of 19 teams.

The Foundry hosts this annual weekend event for teams from across Ohio and Western New York to compete on Lake Erie. All day Saturday, student sailors took part in a race clinic to help them all hone their competitive skills in time for a full day of racing on Sunday.

Light wind on Sunday made for frustrating start to the day since races had to be postponed. Once the wind came up, Southwestern had to overcome some challenges, but the sailors recovered well throughout the six races completed.

Team A managed to earn two second-place finishes, and Team B secured a first- and third-place finish. A mere two and three points separated third and fourth place.

“We had some tough races today, the points were pretty tight,” commented Coach Hunter Farris. “The team did very well despite the difficult conditions and light winds, and a few differences in sail design took a little getting used to. We don’t get to choose how the wind behaves and there isn’t always time to make up points, but we recovered quickly.”

Team A consisted of Cameron Turner and Will Turner skippering, with John Kelly and Patrick Kelly crewing respectively. Team B was comprised of A.J. Smith and Brooks Turcotte as skippers with Autumn Bertges and Victoria Smith as crew.

Earlier this season, Southwestern took home a first place in the team’s home invitational on Chautauqua Lake off Lakewood Beach. On Sunday, April 22, nearly 60 sailors from eleven high schools from across western New York competed under great sailing conditions. This time with home advantage, Southwestern beat the competition hands down.

“It was a fabulous day on the water. All the sailors competed well. We are very proud of all who participated,” said Rick Turner, president of the Chautauqua Lake Community Sailing Foundation, which hosted the event.

On the water, the temperatures reached into the 60s, the winds were moderate and 12 races were completed.

During the home regatta, the Southwestern team was comprised of Will Turner, Patrick Kelly, and Victoria Smith sailing in A division, with A.J. Smith, and Autumn Bertges in B division. Both divisions performed well, with none of the Southwestern sailors earning less than a fourth place in any race. Turner, Kelly, and Victoria Smith, in A Division, received the best score of the regatta. Smith and Autumn Bertges also did extremely well, finishing second, with a combined score giving the Southwestern team first place overall for the event.

“The winter weather broke just in time for our event,” said Farris. “It was such a wonderful day on the water and many local residents came out to enjoy the park and view the races.”

On Saturday, the Southwestern sailing team will be traveling to Buffalo to compete in the New York State Championship. For more information on team sailing, learning to sail, and adult sailing lessons, contact Farris at 720-1550 or visit www.sailclcsf.org.