June 16, 2024

Gusty Winds Challenge Young Sailors at MDISA Championship

Posted by The Southern Maryland Sailing Foundation
Community Buildersailing center

This year’s Junior Varsity Maryland Interscholastic Sailing  Association (MDISA) Championship, held last weekend, saw the largest group of participants to date. Under beautiful, yet demanding conditions at Tall Timbers Marina, 18 teams from different schools in the MDISA competed.

“The conditions were definitely challenging for some of our JV sailors.  Winds were SW, 8-10, gusting up to 15+ with a couple of interesting puffs/shifts.  We managed to get five races in for each division,” said Guy Barbado, director of Sailing Center Chesapeake.

Each participating team had an A and B division. Despite the difficult conditions, the  young sailors were able to complete 10 races, with Severna Park taking first, Annapolis coming in second and Bishop O’Connell earning third place. Locally, Leonardtown High School finished 8th with Great Mills 10th.

Sailing Center Chesapeake, headquartered at the Tall Timbers Marina, offers some of the best sailing conditions on the East Coast. The center is staffed entirely by volunteers, and consistently provides a safe, affordable outlet for young men and women to receive top-quality instruction  in sailing and water safety. Each term, about 25 high school students participate in the varsity and JV competitive program.

During the summer months, Sailing Center Chesapeake provides the community with many low-cost youth sailing and water safety classes. One of SCC’s hallmark events, Spirit of America, is closely coordinated with St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and is made possible by a grant awarded by The Spirit of America Foundation. The program, designed for middle school-aged students, provides professional water safety, boating, and sailing instruction to youngsters living in the Southern Maryland area.  During the 2013 season, Spirit of America was able to accommodate 70 students. Plans are already underway for a 2014 encore of this year’s successful event.

Southern Maryland Sailing Foundation is the organization that makes these programs possible. SMSF, the parent organization of Sailing Center Chesapeake, provides the funding, equipment, and solicits community support for SCC. The volunteers who operate Sailing Center Chesapeake, coordinate and produce the area’s water safety and education programs. Additionally, the center’s volunteers maintain the grounds and equipment used by –  and open to –  many individuals and organizations throughout Southern Maryland. This grassroots volunteer approach allows Sailing Center Chesapeake to provide these services for just a small fraction of the cost for similar community based sailing centers.

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