High School Sailing—Off to the Races!

Jamie JonesLeadline, Leadline Club News, Youth Sailing

From the time we started putting the fleet together mid-March to now, many of our High School Sailors have already sailed more hours this spring than many of us will sail all year long, and we’re just getting started! Our intrepid group of sailors from 15 schools across Central Ohio has put in the time, competed in 3 events and the results are showing some great successes already!

We started with our first Friday Night Lights event right after the docks went in with 25 teams from Hoover, Leatherlips and even some Ohio State sailors. These kinds of regattas are awesome in the fact that we keep the top sailors off the tiller and put them in crewing positions with their JV teammates driving! It’s an amazing way for our leaders to give back to their teams and train the next generation of HS Sailors and it works! Many of the kids that sailed and did well at last year’s events are driving in varsity roles this year with a couple of them (Noah Olsen and Fisher Howe) leading the charge for Westerville North HS and their team racing team that qualified for the National qualifier regatta this weekend!

It was a top 7 sweep for Hoover HS teams at our first Friday Night Lights event with sailors from Gahanna, Westerville North, Bexley, Olentangy Orange and Worthington Kilbourne rounding out the top 4.

The following weekend was our district qualifying event where we welcomed 13 teams from around Ohio to qualify for 3 spots at the championships. When the spray settled, the Westerville North team of Brendan Smucker, Sam Heighway, Fisher Howe, Alex Hedrick, Noah Olsen and Brinn Faulkner qualified to represent us at the Baker (team race) Championships in Minnesota and the Mallory (fleet racing) Championships in Cleveland. Best of luck to that team in their travels.

Finally, last weekend we hosted the 6th annual State Championship Regatta with 21 teams from 18 schools in attendance. This makes the Ohio State Championship the largest such regatta in the country! While we didn’t win the State Championship, we did end up with 5 teams in the top ten including Olentangy Liberty’s team of Porter Martin/Brady Smith and Emma Friedauer/Emily Williams finishing 3rd overall, with Emma and Emily tied for 1st in B division. Rounding out the top ten were teams from Westerville North (5th), New Albany (6th), Olentangy Orange (7th) and another Olentangy Orange team in 10th.

We have more regattas in May including 2 at Leatherlips YC and 3 in Cleveland before we wrap up the season at the end of the month. If you have a middle school or high school aged student at home and want to get them into the fastest growing sport in High School, we have a couple of clinics this summer and our fall season starting at the end of August. Come check it out, get involved and see what all the hype is about!