New Jersey School Wins Great Oaks Regatta park
On November 22-23, 40 High Schools from 15 states and St Croix, USVI, competed in the Great Oaks Invitational High School Regatta sponsored by Allstate Sugar Bowl and hosted by Southern Yacht Club on Lake Pontchartrain.
Saturday began with temperatures in the 50's and partly cloudy skies with winds in the low teens gusting into the upper teens. Teams were split into Red and Blue fleets for the qualifying races. Eight races were sailed to determine who would earn spots in the Gold and Silver fleets. With a not so great forecast for Sunday's races the teams were sent in around 1 p.m. to get an early start on the Championship round. The splits were made and two races for each division were sailed Saturday afternoon in dying breezes.
Sunday's severe rain did not materialize as expected so the boats were rigged and sailors were on the water on time in case the wind did show up as forecast. The teams left the harbor in a light drizzle with temps in the 50s and winds in the low teens. The drizzle continued for the first two races as did the wind. As the boats went in for the rotation, the skies cleared and the wind came in with a vengeance. The wind increased to the high teens with gusts in the low to mid-twenties. Two more races were completed and the teams went in for boat rotation. When the teams began to come out of the harbor, the wind increased into the low twenties with higher gusts. The decision was made to postpone and everyone was sent in. The winds continued in the mid-twenties gusting to the low-mid-thirties and the decision was made to call the regatta at that point.
The winner of the regatta was Southern Regional High School from Manahawkin, N.J. with Gulliver Preparatory placing second and Lake Norman High School placing third in the Gold Fleet.
The winner of the Silver Fleet was South Fork High School from Stuart, Fla., with Lake Highland Preparatory and Durham School of The Arts placing second and third.
[Recap contributed by Brian David of the Sugar Bowl Regatta Committee]