Sailing team heads to Cambridge to compete in championship

By Douglas McCulloch | May 20, 2018
Courtesy of: Peter Van Colen The Dartmouth High sailing team gears up for competition on the Charles River on May 19.

Dartmouth High’s sailing team wrapped up one of its most successful seasons in recent years by competing in a major sailing championship over the weekend.

On May 19, sailors traveled to Cambridge to compete in the NESSA Team Racing Championships on the Charles River. With rain and a heavy breeze, the Indians finished in seventh place out of the eight schools invited to the championship.

Those results, however, are just half the battle. Only the top eight out of 75 New England high school sailing teams are invited to compete, making Dartmouth High’s appearance an accomplishment in itself.

“I keep reminding them that this is the championship of New England, and only eight of the best teams out of 75 competed,” said Peter Van Colen, the team’s head coach.

The championship wrapped up a successful season for the Indians’ sailing team. In the Cape and Islands League, Dartmouth High finished in second place with an 8-1 record. Only Barnstable High placed higher, with a 10-1 record.

“We had a really good season,” Van Colen said. “The kids were determined, and they worked very hard.”

Sailors even received an invite to a major regatta in Annapolis, Maryland, but Van Colen had to decline due to financial constraints.

Dartmouth High is one of only a few public high school sailing teams competing in NESSA events, and one of the only public high schools in the region with a sailing team. The roster includes dominant private and preparatory schools like St George's School and Tabor Academy.

“It’s an opportunity for our kids to compete with kids at these private schools,” Van Colen said. “This is one of the few sports at Dartmouth High School that competes at this level.”

With the season over, Van Colen is now turning his attention to next year, although he is not quite sure what the new school year will bring as it will depend on the incoming freshman class.

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