Eighteen two-man teams set off in 15-foot sailboats down the Medway River during the North Points League Sailing Regatta on Saturday, Nov. 22.
The low-point scoring team, Porter-Gaud from Charleston, South Carolina, claimed first place. The Richmond Hill High School team was in third place until the last set of the day and finished in eighth place.
Coach Carrie Rohde said B-DIV Skipper Billy Winters, an RHHS senior, and his crew, junior Misseal Baez-Velez, sailed incredibly well. They finished in fourth place in their division, the best they’ve sailed this season, and won race No. 5.
Full scores can be viewed at scores.hssailing.org/f14/saisa-np3/full-scores/.
Races continued in 15-20 minute intervals from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and included students from 18 high schools on the East Coast, all members of the South Atlantic Interscholastic Sailing Association (SAISA) North Points League.
Teams came from South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. Local teams came from Richmond Hill High School, St. Vincent’s Academy and Benedictine Military School.
The Richmond Hill team has traveled as far as Connecticut for a regatta. In early November, the team traveled to Lake Norman, N.C., for a competition.
RHHS senior Brendan Jarvoe, 18, serves as one of the team’s captain and is certified to instruct students in sailing.
“I’m addicted to sailing now,” he said, joking that his socks have anchors on them.
Rohde started the RHHS sailing team in 2003.
“There’s tons of water, and no water sports,” she said she thought when she moved to Richmond Hill in 2001. She still serves as a volunteer coach for the school.
“Most of our students have never stepped foot in a boat and must learn everything about sailing, starting with the basics,” Rohde said. There currently are 20 students on the RHHS team, which includes 13 boys and seven girls.
“The coolest part about sailing is it’s a gender-neutral sport. Girls and boys are competing right next to each other,” Rohde said.
Area high schools with sailing teams include Islands, Savannah Arts Academy, Benedictine Military School, St. Vincent’s Academy and Savannah Country Day School. Armstrong State University is starting a sailing team next spring.
Rohde is on the board of the Savannah Sailing Center, which provides boats for students to use. The center was founded to run the sailing portion of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, which took place in Savannah. After the Olympics, Savannah Sailing Center continued its nonprofit status and transitioned into a community cen-
The center also is available to assist local schools that would like to start their own sailing teams. More information is available by going to savannahsailingcenter.org, emailing email@example.com, or calling 912-352-9996.