The Voyage

Sailing through York County

Lenore Dougherty, Staff

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Few know that Grafton High School has a sailing team, but there has been one for five years now. The York County High School Sailing Team, YCHSST, is the overall team for York County that includes Tabb, York, and Grafton schools.

The York County High School Sailing Team meets for practices Tuesdays and Thursdays each week from 4-6P.M.  Regattas, sailing races, are held every Saturday against other teams like Poquoson, Christchurch, Norfolk Collegiate, Kecoughtan, and Phoebus from 8:20 to various times in the afternoon, but never later than 4:00.

Seaford Yacht Club is home base to YCHSST. For this league the seasons are in the Fall and Spring.

Currently the YCHSST has 15 members, though a few will graduate after this coming spring season. Out of the 15, 6 attend Grafton.

Joining the sailing is fun environment where you can meet different students from York County.

“Sailing is a fun and inclusive community that accepts anyone who is willing to learn and strive for bettering themselves in and off the water” said York Senior, Brian Fox.

Sailing is not the most interesting sport to watch from the land, but on the water it is a totally different experience.

“If you watch sailing from the side lines it may seem boring, but when you’re in the water it is a whole other story,” Coach David said.

“When I am sailing I think about how blessed I am to be a part of this sport,” said York Junior, Daniel Hodges

YCHSST members agree that they all love sailing, but a lot of the members love the competition aspect of the sport.

“The competitive nature of the sport and how close nit the sailing community makes it more enjoyable,” said Hodges.

“I guess I just really love sailing and being in the collective team atmosphere,” said York Junior, Kai Vylet.

Brian Fox’s inspiration to be on the sailing team is not the competition, but just to have a good time with friends.

“I sail to have fun and challenging sport to practice and get progressively better at as well as to have a great group of friends to hang out with, ” said Fox.

During Regattas and in everyday practice the team members meet new people and make new friends.

Sailors seemed to have very similar views about regattas:

“I feel nervous up until the first race, after the first race, I feel a sense of control and peace, after I am mentally spent and tired.” Said Hodges

“ I am typically excited about the day to come and nervous about getting the race day started, during the regatta I am still excited and nervous for every race but more relaxed at the same time.”

“Before a regatta, I’d say I am pretty nervous but also excited at the potential to do well and after I am glad that it is over because I am usually tired but also ready to go out to sail again and improve,” said Vylet.

Sailing is a versatile sport, and it appeals to many different people. Sailing can be a great way to participate in a competitive sport or to meet new friends throughout York County.

For more information about the team, visit the Facebook page at York County High School Sailing Team or contact Lenore Dougherty.

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