Dublin’s “Armada” energized by new gift, prepares for Regatta

New staff member and coach Rich Connell reports on the recent developments of the Sailing team:

“We are excited to announce the recent acquisition of six new Vanguard 420s. They are 14' racing class hulls, and are extremely fast and light on the water. They came from the Hyannis Yacht Club (Hyannis, MA), and were located and donated by the Wheeler family (Peter, Kathy, and Tucker ’12).

In addition to the six 420s, I was able to repair three JY-15s, which are a 15' hull, slightly longer, heavier, and more stable

than the 420s. There are also three Sunfish on the water, which are 12 footers, and mostly flat bottomed; perfect to learn on. This past weekend, I also discovered a few more “abandoned” boats in the campus woods, one of which is a 19-foot Flying Scot; very wide, very stable, and able to seat 6-8 people. It is in the water now, and will be very useful to get inexperienced people out and comfortable with the idea of sailing.

I've split the team into two separate groups: those with extensive sailing experience (race team), and those with

 a few years or none at all (rec. team). The rec. team is concentrating on the basics, such as sailing terminology, knot tying, basic rigging, and identifying wind direction. Out of the 7 rec. sailors, all have been out on the water for a few weeks now, and they're all becoming quite good at captaining their own boats.

The race team, which consists of 8 kids, has mainly been focusing on becoming comfortable with the 420s: rigging, maneuvering, and testing the boats' limitations. There has been a fair amount of capsizing (both intentional and unintentional!). I've set up a temporary race course on the lake, and we've been sailing around that a bit. I'm planning to finish off this week practicing start sequences and then having the kids to race against each other. In the future, I want to start working in detail on things such as good roll tacking, dry rolling, spinnaker sets, and race tactics.

We will be hosting a sailing regatta weekend, on the 9th and 10th of October, right here on Dublin Lake. Dublin School will be going up against Northfield Mount Hermon's team on the 9th, and Cardigan Mountain School on the 10th.”