With snow just this week, it seems early to be talking about sailing, but for the Blue Knights, as soon as the ice was out, the boats went in.
“The team began practices on Lawrence Pond on March 18,” coach Chris Dumas said. “This was about two days after the last ice fisherman left the lake. No one can remember the lake being solid ice so close to the start of the season. The team has handled it well though. The current water temperature is about 38 degrees.”
Sandwich is scheduled to open the sailing season on Tuesday against Pope John Paul II.
“This year, we are looking for big things from skippers Tim Titcomb, Jack Gould, Truman Dunkley and Emily Walker,” coach Dumas explained. “Cathy Dennis, Lyndsay Davison, Christina Murray and Michaela Suriano are senior crew who should also have strong years. We have at least five new freshmen on the team with many who have never sailed before. We have a full team of 20 sailors representing everyone from freshmen through seniors.
“Our team strength this year will be tactics and a deep understanding of the complex rules of sailing. Combining this with strong performances from our sailors we should have a very competitive year. Last year (5-7) our communication and planning on the water during a race greatly improved. Many of our losses were by very small margins. The rules of sailing can be very complex and coaches are not allowed to talk to the team during a race. The team who understands how to use ‘right of way’ rules to their advantage can gain an edge over many teams. We will race some very strong teams this year including Bishop Stang, Barnstable and Martha’s Vineyard.”
The Blue Knights also have veteran sailors Christina Murray, Kayla Suriano, Ethan Hansen and Nick Astrauckas ready to go.
“I expect a solid year from the team,” Dumas said. “We are drilling extensively on rules and racing tactics. Our final record will really come down to individual sailor performance and how well the team syncs on the water.”
Coach Dumas will be assisted this season by coach Mike Duarte. During the course of the season the sailing boosters will be holding fundraisers that will include the raffling of four tickets to the Red Sox, and car washes in April and May.
“No matter what the win/loss record is, we will never lose sight that sailing is supposed to be fun,” Dumas added. “It is an experience that may lead to a lifelong hobby for many of the students.”