Members of the Swampscott High sailing team continue to get a great education in their sport this spring.
While some of the 20 sailors bring in experience from prior seasons, or in some cases sailing outside of the high school season, the Big Blue has mostly served as a great opportunity to open student-athletes’ eyes to sport on the water.
The Big Blue took part in six team races (in which three boats per high school team take part in a series of races to come up with a total score based on finish), though in the end, they were not able to take any wins in those.
They have also put up some good showings by individual boats in fleet races including dozens of teams.
“We have a lot of new kids, and many of those kids are new to sailing,” said head coach Ben Zorfas. “I look at it like a manual transmission car – the more you drive it, the better you get at it. The more they’re in the boat, the more boat-handling they can learn, and once they get a good handle on that, they can spend more time on tactics and boat speed.”
For the most part, due to a very compressed season because of the lingering winter weather into April, the Big Blue don’t get to practice very much. Since really getting going in late April, they’ve squeezed six team races and two fleet racing events into two weeks.
“Since April vacation, we’ve been on the water six days a week, and just one of those is for practice,” said Zorfas. “We have three and a half hours of practice time, but much of that is prepping the boats and then putting them away after, so there’s not a lot of water time.”
However, he said that the athletes certainly enjoy it, and their dedication is impressive. They’re out there sometimes in rain and wind, sailing through 40-degree waters in many cases.
“For some kids, sailing is their life’s passion, and all the kids are definitely into it,” Zorfas added.
The first team racing event in the Massachusetts Bay Sailing…