Annapolis High School Sailing
I remember Annapolis before High School Sailing got its start. This was a subject on the minds of several, grown, Annapolis Sailors. Every year the Naval Academy hosted the U.S. Interscholastic Sailing Nationals – the Mallory Cup and the Cressey Trophy (the Nationals being in two man boats with two divisions; the Cressey included an additional single-handed division) it had been a decade since there was a team from Annapolis. To the best of my knowledge it was an “un-official” team, being that the county school board had no knowledge of its existence.
Background: the previous summer, I had finished the junior program at Severn Sailing Association, along with several classmates. Jonathan Bartlett was our coach (and may have sailed on the original sailing team). Other parents were aware of the situation and eventually my fellow sailors started discussing the possibility. We decided Doug Hagan should approach the Administration of Annapolis High School with a request for sponsorship. We were flatly turned down. The reason given was that the insurance would not cover us, because of the dangers of sailing (this from a school that kept an ambulance present at every home football game). I went to several games my first year and that ambulance always had a passenger. The only injuries my colleagues and I had ever sustained was a lump from a boom, sunburn or underage hangover.
Undeterred, we had Doug write a letter to the Assistant to the Director of Sailing (my mom) requesting an Invitation to the Nationals. As our Faculty Supervisor/Coach we named Jonathan Bartlett (although he had little to do with Annapolis Senior HS after graduation; we rationalized he was still a coach – at SSA – and any further investigation would be just nit-picking). Amazingly we were invited – that’s ma. The rest of the team as I recall included: Doug McNitt, Doug Hagen, Andrew White, Kevin Dunn, myself and Jonathan Phillips. Phillips was the only one not from our little group. He was a senior and had graduated SSA years before us and had become a nationally ranked Laser Sailor. Thanks to his skill in winning the single handed division and respectable showing by the rest of us, we placed third in the Cressy Trophy.
It may have come as a bit of a shock to the Administration (assuming they were listening), when during the Monday morning announcements someone had slipped a note to the announcer, of our accomplishment. We never heard a word from Admin. Although, we did find that there were more than a few teachers who sailed. The following year we won the Cressy. The year after, we placed 5th, owing to the departure to Phillips. We alsodid some barnstorming in Virginia. Gary Body, Head Coach at ODU had started hosting interscholastic events and invited us to more than a few times. For three years, Annapolis had an outlaw sailing team. Only in Annapolis
Published: Saturday, 14 March 2015 Written by Russ Snyder