In just its third year of existence, the Spring Lake High School sailing team is making some serious waves.
The Lakers took part in the Great Oaks Qualifier regatta in Lake Forest, Ill., this past weekend and finished in first place.
That result qualified Spring Lake to compete in the National Double Handed Championships, to be held Nov. 22-24 in New Orleans.
“We went down their hoping to qualify,” said coach David Wolters, noting that the top four teams out of the 19-team field earned berths in the national regatta. “Saturday started off with a bang with back-to-back first-place finishes. That got everyone fired up, and the rest just fell into place.”
The Spring Lake sailing team features 24 student-athletes, but the Lakers were only able to bring four to the Great Oaks qualifier — Mason Wolters, Elijah Locasio, Frank Reeg and Abby Allman.
“They’ve all been on the team since the beginning,” Wolters said. “Our team has a variety of kids, from some who have never been on any kind of a boat before to some really seasoned sailors who sail all year round any chance they get."
The Great Oaks Qualifier consisted of 19 schools from across the Midwest. A total of 13 races were sailed over the course of two days on the open water of Lake Michigan. Spring Lake scored first-place finishes in six of the 13 races.
Wolters said the team is in the process of trying to plan a fundraiser, but that is proving difficult because Spring Lake is hosting a regatta the weekend of Nov. 2, with teams from across the Midwest coming in.
“There was already a lot of legwork and preparation involved in hosting something like that,” he said. “This just added more to the plate.”
The team is accepting donations to help offset travel costs.
For more information, visit springlakesailing.com.
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