Shorecrest Preparatory wins High School Team Race Nationals
Published on May 24th, 2015
The Baker Championship to determine the top high school team race squad was held in Chicago, IL, hosted by Chicago Yacht Club (Belmont Station) on May 23-24. Hosted by Chicago Yacht Club in Club 420s on Lake Michigan near the Belmont Harbor entrance, the event pitted the top 12 high school teams against each other in a team race format. In order to reach the Championship, each of the teams qualified in their respective districts, and schools from as far away as Washington State, California, Florida and Rhode Island were represented at this Illinois Regatta.
Similar to the America’s Cup and other match racing formats, The Baker Team Race Championship is a fully umpired regatta, where all of the calls are made on the water and team race rules apply. Don Becker served as the Chief Umpire, leading a team of 14 National, Regional and Local Umpires. Support was provided by the Chicago Match Center, which provided its “Breadbox” for team rotations and coaches.
Day 1 saw light and shifty winds allowing for completion of only 52 of the scheduled 66 races – at the end of this first day St. Thomas Aquinas lead the standings undefeated.
Day 2 dawned with cloudy skies and glassy seas. The Race Committee found a few puffs of wind early on, and ran 2 very slow races, then the wind shut off. The sailors and RC waited around (somewhat) patiently, and finally the breeze filled in from the East at 10-15 kts. This allowed the committee to finish the initial round robin, but leaving no time for a gold, silver and bronze rounds.
In an exciting three race sail-off Shorecrest Preparatory (St. Petersburg, FL) bested its cross-state rival St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) 2-1. National Champions are Shorecrest Prep with St. Thomas Aquinas in second and Newport Harbor (Newport Beach, CA) in third.
Sailing for Shorecrest Preparatory School was skippers Nic Baird ’15, Patrick Shanahan ’15, Hannah Steadman ’16, and Josh Dochoda ’16; crews were Kathryn Booker ‘15, Peninah Benjamin ‘16, Kyle Dochoda ‘17, and Andreea Ranney-Pace ‘16.
On another important note, the Baker Championship Regatta qualified as a Clean Regatta, in partnership with Sailors for the Sea, Chicago Yacht Club’s first and highly successful green initiative. Through the use of reusable water bottles presented to each sailor with water stations available on the rotation and umpire boats, zero trash on water lunch containers, and an electric powered spectator boat, the CYC hosted Baker Championship Regatta is going for a Gold level certification. Chicago Yacht Club proudly embraces keeping our waters clean for future generations of sailors.