In the past few years, Wellesley High School sailing has become one of the best teams in the state. In 2021, the team capped off a remarkable season with both the team and fleet racing championships in the Massachusetts Bay League. That success carried over to this season.
The team not only reclaimed the team and fleet racing titles, but also finished first in the Massachusetts Bay League with a record of 9-4, and ninth in the New England Fleet Race championships, to which the top sixteen teams in New England get invited to.
Alexa Quinn ‘22, Ashley Franklin ‘22, and Jack Welburn ‘22, the captains of the sailing team, credit the dedication and persistence of the team to learning and improving their craft.
“I think it’s just putting in the hours at practice,” said Quinn, “we’ve been there every day since the season started and putting in practice to get better. We have worked as a team in order to do well at races.”
“We’ve also had a couple of meetings in school, like classroom sessions to go over what happens on the water and any questions we have, so that helps a lot with strategy. People study the rules on their own time and watch videos so that’s definitely helpful,” said Franklin.
Welburn notes how these team talks include everyone on the team and are a space where every sailor’s feedback and thoughts can be heard.
“It’s not necessarily one person getting up there and speaking the entire time,” said Welburn, “we have really good open conversations with everybody on the team where we’re able to talk through situations that can be confusing, especially on the water situations that people may not know about.”
Team dinners have also strengthened the bond within the team, providing a fun and relaxing setting to become closer to one another.
“We go out to Dairy Queen and Chick-Fil-A a lot, so we’re always hanging out, even at the lake. It’s really fun to just hang out and talk to people.”
Professor Lovett, the team’s coach, notices the valuable experience and knowledge that the upperclassmen have given to the underclassmen.
“It’s fun when you have a good group, they’re teaching each other, they’re learning, I love to see kids improving, the older kids always helping out the younger kids, getting better,” said Lovett.
Before the Massachusetts High School Sailing State Championship, which happened on June 1 and June 2 at MIT, the team was hoping to keep its successful season going, along with bringing back some silverware.
“We’ve set our season up really well and we’re in a position where we have a little bit of momentum coming out of a few good finishes in the last few weeks,” said Welburn, “so hopefully we can carry that into states and come out with a few wins.”
“I’m hoping for a few more trophies by the end of the season,” said Lovett.
The team did just that. After two days racing on the Charles River, the WHS sailing team came out with a 110 to 111 victory over Winchester, claiming the state sailing title and adding to the list of triumphs for Wellesley sailing.