2012 Great Oaks Results

The 2012 edition of the Great Oaks Invitational Regatta saw 36 high schools from all over the United States and the Virgin Islands return to New Orleans, La for this wonderful annual high school event. Also returning were Yvonne Pottharst as the Regatta Chairperson and Rocky Sanchez as the PRO. The November 9-11 weekend turned out to be a great weekend, weather wise, as warm temperatures and medium to heavy breezes greeted the sailors and provided for some great action throughout the weekend. On Saturday, the fleet was divided in two 18 boat divisions and were each able to sail 14 of the scheduled 18 races planned before the daylight ended. The windward/leeward courses in breezes ranging from 7 to 14 knots provided plenty of action, both upwind and down. At the end of the day, the winner of the Red Fleet was newcomer Suncoast Polytechnical High School (Sarasota, Fl) and the winner of the Green Fleet was Oconomowoc High School from Wisconsin. After the 28 races, the sailors and their families were again the guest of Howard and Lydia Schmalz for a wonderful dinner that evening. Many thanks go out to Howard and Lydia for hosting this wonderful evening for many years, long after their child has sailed in this event.

On Sunday, the top half of the Red and Green Fleets formed the Gold Fleet while the remainder of the schools continued on in the Silver Fleet. Again, the winds were from the southeast which meant smooth water, however, the speeds increased to 18 knots gusting well into the low 20s. The temperatures were still in the 70s so this was going to be an exciting day. With winds up, the race committee decided to sail them on a triangle course which provided the competitors with some screaming reaches, much to delight of the young sailors! Miami’s Ranson Everglades was first in the 1st two races and never looked backed as they scored in the top ten in all 14 races and won comfortably with a 15 point margin. North Kingston High School (Jamestown, RI) was the runner up while Tampa Jesuit edged out Oconomowoc High School for third in the Gold Fleet. Tampa Jesuit also finished third last year. In Silver Fleet, they were able to get in 13 races and Long Beach High School from Mississippi dominated the sailing on Sunday to take first by 19 points while the fight for second and third was a much tighter affair. Metairie Park Country Day School (Metairie, La) eked out a second by a single point over Hinsdale Central High School from Illinois, who was only five points ahead of Wallsingham Academy (Williamsburg, VA) and Ocean Springs High School (Mississippi) who were tied for fourth. The winner of the Babs and Larry White Trophy for the top finisher making their debut appearance was Suncoast Polytechnical High School who finished tenth in the Gold Fleet.  Once again, special thanks go out to the many volunteers who helped to put on this great high school event and again many thanks go out to the AllState Sugar Bowl who was a major sponsor for this event and do a lot to promote amateur and youth sailing in and around the New Orleans area. After 55 races completed over 2 days, the competitors headed home tired, but with big smiles on their faces!

Submitted by Rocky Sanchez