Area sailors excel in high school girls sailing state championship

Tue, 05/25/2021 - 9:30am

ROCKLAND — The high school girls sailing state championship found itself a perfect setting Sunday, May 22 at Rockland Harbor. 

Following a long day of sailing, the Becton Cup was awarded to Lincoln Academy sailors Piper Carlton and Kate Mason. 

“The annual event had its best turnout in recent years with 14 boats vying for the Cup,” reported Patrick DiLalla. 

Racing commenced at 10:45 am, and by 2:30 p.m., seven races of around 20 minutes each had been completed.

Five boats, at that point, emerged at the top of the standings, all with a chance to win it all in the final race, according to DiLalla.

“Carlton and Mason saved their best sailing for this last race,” said DiLalla. “The course was the longest of the day, and the breeze had picked up to around 8 knots from the Southwest.” 

After the start, the Lincoln Academy freshmen were in the middle of the fleet.

“They went to work on the long upwind legs, methodically passing one boat at a time, until they had moved into fourth place,” DiLalla said. “This likely would have been good enough to win in the overall standings, but any doubt about who was going to win was eliminated on the final leg when the cheerful, hard working champs sailed past two more boats to capture a second place.” 

Two Apprenticeshop teams, based out of Rockland harbor, found themselves in the close pack at the top of the fleet: Ella Ryan and Nicole Pendleton of Camden Hills, and Pia Gibson and Olivia Britton of Islesboro. The two teams ended the day in a tie for fourth place. Both completed penalty turns during the racing; a rare sight in the self-governed sport of high school sailing, according to DiLalla. 

The Apprenticeshop hosts regattas with the help of a dedicated volunteer team: Peter Clapp of Rockport led the Race Committee and was assisted by Annika Rogers of Islesboro, and Apprenticeshop Youth Program Director Joao Bentes.

“In a sport where complaints about the race committee abound, this time all agreed it was a perfect day of racing,” DiLalla reported. 

The Apprenticeshop is looking for junior high and high school students interested in sailing. The Fall season begins Sept. 1, and is open to all skill levels. Contact Joao Bentes at for more information.