Sailing Team Braves the Cold


Hornet sailors jumped right into the cold water of Manchester Harbor on the third day of the season.  Following two days of pulling the boats off the racks, stepping the masts, and sorting out the running rigging, we launched the 420s at Tuck’s Point and began shuttling them out to the float at the mouth of the harbor. 

The newest sailors had the “pleasure” of trying out their dry suits and conducting a float test by swimming from the beach out to a dock and back.  Most of the sailors came out dry, but a few discovered leaks, which rendered their protective gear “wetsuits” or even “cold suits.” 

A few technical repairs and we’re good to go.

The team has expanded from 9 to 15 sailors this year.  We have a core group of returning Freshmen, led by two strong co-captains, and the ranks are bolstered by a new batch of 7th graders, some of whom have experience from summer sailing.   

The first two to three weeks of practice are the most difficult for the team since sailing skills are rusty (or non-existent), and the conditions are the toughest, with the strongest winds of the season and the coldest temperatures.  This is one reason why dry suits are so important.  Thankfully, taking a dip in Manchester waters is unpleasant but not fatal when wearing a dry suit.  This allows the sailors to take some risks and push their limits while learning the sport and adding to their experience level.

The Hornet sailors’ number one goal for this season is to advance from the B Division of the Mass Bay Sailing League up to the A
Division, where it has historically been.  

This will require a strong commitment to developing the skills and knowledge to win every team race on our schedule. We have a few weeks before our first event, which is an invitational with eight teams at Marina Bay in Quincy. The following week, the Hornets, Landmark School, and Pingree will be hosting an eight-school event on home turf.