News Feature

Castine
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, May 22, 2014
Light wind handicaps Eagles in Downeast Regatta
Stormy weather postpones first day

Eagles sailors, find your mark

At right, skipper Nicolas Steenberg and crew Cedar Slagle, of the George Stevens Academy sailing team, maneuver their boat towards its second mark in the Downeast Regatta on May 18, 2014 in Castine, Maine.

Photo by Anne Berleant Order prints of selected PBP photos.

by Anne Berleant

Stormy weather on Saturday, May 17, followed by light winds on Sunday made for up-and-down sailing at the 16th Downeast Invitational Regatta.

Hosted by George Stevens Academy at the Maine Maritime Academy waterfront, the annual two-day sailing event drew 19 teams from Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont to Castine.

“It was a typical Downeast Regatta in Smith Cove,” said Nicolas Steenberg, who took over as skipper on the Eagles’ “A” boat on Sunday after Gordon Lameyer injured his hand in a Saturday capsize. “[A] light, shifting land breeze.”

The day before was a different story.

“Saturday it blew like crazy, and it was pouring,” said Eagles coach Tom Gutow.

A heavy wind of 20-22 knots, spiked with gusts up “close to 30 knots,” caused a half dozen boats to capsize during the second race, postponing racing to the next day.

The light wind on Sunday did not favor the Eagles, Gutow said. “It was a little bit frustrating…we do better in heavy air.”

“I sail better in heavy wind,” agreed Cedar Slagle, crew on the “A” boat, after one Sunday race.

The Eagles’ “A” boat placed 14th and its “B” boat, skippered by freshman Yvonne Rogers with Clover Slagle as crew, placed 18th.

First-place Yarmouth was named Downeast Champion and was awarded the Modisette trophy for the second year running. They also were named Maine School Sailing Association champion for the year.

The Modisette trophy, dedicated to Jim Modisette of California and Penobscot, who started the event in 2000, is a perpetual trophy that is awarded to the top Maine winner for the year and then returned the following year.

Marblehead and Belmont Hill placed second and third, respectively, followed by Falmouth in fourth place. Mount Desert Island placed seventh.

“The light wind handicapped us,” Gutow concluded. “It was a tough weekend.”

Eagles sailors, find your mark

At right, skipper Nicolas Steenberg and crew Cedar Slagle, of the George Stevens Academy sailing team, maneuver their boat towards its second mark in the Downeast Regatta on May 18, 2014 in Castine, Maine.

Photo by Anne Berleant
Young sailors head for their mark in the Downeast Regatta

Two young Penobscot, Maine sailors—skipper Karina Steenberg (left) and crew Rachel DesFosses, of the George Stevens Academy sailing team—head for their mark in an exhibition race at the Downeast Regatta on Sunday, May 18, 2014 in Castine, Maine.

Photo by Anne Berleant
Sailboats hold at the start line of the Downeast Regatta

Sailboats line up for racing at the Downeast Regatta, hosted by the George Stevens Academy sailing team and Maine Maritime Academy, held on May 17 and 18 in the Castine, Maine harbor.

Photo by Anne Berleant
Light wind marks Downeast Regatta

Skipper Nicolas Steenberg and crew Cedar Slagle, of the George Stevens Academy sailing team, struggle with light wind at the Downeast Regatta on Sunday, May 18, 2014 held in Castine, Maine.

Photo by Anne Berleant
Eagles sailors race in Smith Cove

Skipper Karina Steenberg (left) and crew Rachel DesFosses, of the George Stevens Academy sailing team, stay focused during racing on May 18, 2014 at the Downeast Regatta in Castine, Maine.

Photo by Anne Berleant