The St. Augustine Prep High School sailing team won the Mid Atlantic Scholastic Sailing Association Silver Fleet Race Championship in Annapolis, Maryland, last weekend.
The Hermits beat 17 other high schools from New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York. This is St. Augustine coach Mike Pinto’s first year steering the program, and he is proud his team achieved their ultimate goal.
“They all worked really hard and it was a great way to cap off the season,” Pinto said.
The Hermits won with 28 points. Even though they did not come in first in any of their two-person races, the team had a crucial run of second places.
“Being consistent is what won the regatta,” Pinto said.
While last weekend’s weather brought plenty of sunshine, it did not bring enough wind for the contest to go on Saturday as planned.
With the races pushed back to early Sunday morning, Pinto kept his team focused with important advice about their training.
“If you have a bad start or a bad finish, don’t get discouraged,” Pinto told his team.
Pinto’s son, Michael, a junior from Ocean City, is a skipper on the team along with Zachary York, a sophomore from Washington Township. York’s twin brother, Patrick, is also on the team. The twin brothers celebrated their win and their birthday this weekend.
“This is our first actual win in program history,” Patrick said.
The Yorks said the team did not expect to come out on top against some of the Mid Atlantic’s strongest competition, but their consistent performance gave the Hermits motivation during the regatta.
“Our goal was just to get to the regatta, so to win is great,” Zachary said. “We learned a lot this season and we got better as a team working together.”
Sophomores Chase Davis, of Egg Harbor Township, and Chris Medolla of Buena Vista Township, make up the rest of the five-member, championship crew.
Pinto says the team is young, but has a lot of depth and determination. The Hermits were able to compete in this championship regatta after clinching one of four open spots at the qualifying race in Toms River on Oct. 14.
The team will compete in one final regatta at the Toms River Yacht Club on Nov. 1. The sailing season will pick back up again in the spring, and Pinto said his ultimate goal is to gain more crew members to join his winning team.