Wildcat sailors headed to championships

By Shawn O’Connor

for the Whidbey News-Times

The Oak Harbor High School sailing team completed its final fleet racing tune-up before district championships on Saturday, racing against Anacortes, Bellingham and Sehome in Bellingham Bay.

The Wildcats battled a building breeze and a treacherous sea state as they got a sneak peak at the venue for next weekend’s championship event. Each division completed four races.

Thomas Buys and Andrew Buys cruised to victory in Division A, ending the day with two wins, one second, and one third in the four race series. Ben Servatius and Henry Booth used a clutch second place finish in the final race to sneak into third in the division. Ryan Metz and EJ Boilek battled bad luck and adverse weather conditions to pick up a fifth place finish in race three and a seventh place overall.

The three Wildcat boats in Division B shined as well. South Whidbey sailors Colin Byler and Hans Scheyer started slowly with a ninth and a sixth in the first two races of the day, but used their heavy air expertise in races 3 and 4 to climb to second place in the standings.

Oak Harbor sailors Anna Servatius and Allison Bailey started strong with a first and a third in their first two races, but the building breeze was too strong for them.

Ninth place finishes in their last two races placed them fourth overall. Shelby Lang and Joshua Odeneal also used the bigger breeze in the second half of the day to their advantage, picking up a pair of fifth place finishes in the last two races of the day to secure seventh place in the division.

The Wildcats will compete in the NWISA Fleet Race District Championships this weekend in Bellingham Bay.

If Oak Harbor finishes in the top two among eligible teams, they will travel to Cleveland, Ohio for the national championships.