On Saturday and Sunday Cascade Locks held the 3rd annual state championship regatta. Hood River, Lincoln, and Oregon Episcopal High school were contending for the championship previously held by Hood River.
On Friday the team loaded up the boats and Saturday the team drove down to Cascade Locks in search of the Oregon Sailing State Championship. Loading eight boats onto trailers and roofracks isn’t a simple feat, but with the help of 30+ high school sailors it was a bit less daunting.
On Saturday, the first day of racing commenced, boats were rigged and were quickly embarking for the first of many races. The weather presented itself immediately with multiple boats capsizing while teams attuned their reflexes to the high wind. “The game-changing skill that I’ve learned from sailing this season is ease, hike, and trim!” Said Audrey Becker, a sophomore at HRVHS, this motion allows the team to control the boat’s speed in high winds by letting out and tightening the main sail. With rain and 10-20 knots of wind the weather was pleasing to the racers. As each team progressed they continued to sail stronger. Repetition is a key part of sailing, racers observe the course, wind, currents, and opponents and use each element to their advantage. “The ability to accept small losses and continue to work hard is extremely important in sailing.” Said Charlie Sutherland, a senior at HRVHS and one of the team’s racing co-captains. Teamwork is an important part of sailing, Hood River experienced this first hand when coming together to make the most of their incredible talent. “Teamwork within your crew is the most important part of sailing and it all depends on communication. In the larger team aspect teamwork is relevant as the whole group is watching and learning from each other on and off the racecourse.” Said Leif Bergstrom, a junior at HRVHS and the team’s other racing captain.
The next day continued as usual with rain and gusty winds. Competition was heated as the regatta came to an end, Hood River boat 1, comprised of Leif and Pelle Bergstrom in the B fleet, and Charlie Sutherland and Audrey Becker in the A fleet, held their 1st place position while Oregon Episcopal and Lincoln fought for the 2nd and 3rd positions. At the end of the day the final results held, Hood River 1 was first, Oregon Episcopal 1 was second, and Lincoln 1 was third. “The most important thing I have taken away from sailing is how to have a really good time on the water while still focusing.” Said Daisy Dolan, a junior at HRVHS. Sailing is a fun sport and appreciating it makes it easier to improve.
Such an amazing team doesn’t just appear out of nowhere! The Columbia Gorge Sailing Club is headed by Mallory and Lars, their unlimited nautical knowledge and unwavering dedication makes sailing lively and interesting. “Mallory and Lars have been really patient with us and made sure that we’re all prepared for the races.” Said Leif Bergstrom. Their deep ties to sailing and the community has created many incredible opportunities such as world class sailors coming and giving tips during practice. “It was super helpful to have so many talented guest coaches volunteer their time for our team.” Said Charlie Sutherland. All who are connected to the team are so very grateful for Mallory and Lars.
The team would also like to thank their many gracious donors including: Subway, Safeway, Pietro’s Pizza, Juanita’s chips, and Veronica’s salsa. Their support was immensely appreciated and devoured. A big thanks to Columbia Gorge Racing Association out of Cascade Locks for putting on the State regatta and all other ports that have hosted races throughout the season.They’d also like to the thank the Port of Hood River for their generosity in allowing them to use the docks all season.
Complete race results at: http://scores.hssailing.org/s16/oregon-state-champs/