The Portsmouth Abbey Girls’ Sailing Team won the Rebecca Herreshoff Trophy, also known as the New England High School Women’s Championship, on May 8, besting 15 other teams from around the region at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, in Buzzards Bay, MA.
The Abbey girls competed in two divisions, with each division sailing eight races in 420s, in a light drizzle and 8-to-12-knot shifting southwesterlies.
Jessica McJones ’16 and crew Kelly Shea ’16 earned second place in the A fleet with three second-place finishes and two third places among their eight races. Sailing in and winning the B Division were Emily Bredin ’17 and crew Grace Benzal ’17, who won one race, had three second-place finishes and one third-place finish among their eight races.
The Abbey finished with 66 points, beating North Kingstown HS with 74 points. Finishing third was The Hotchkiss School, of Lakeville, CT, with 95 points and St. George’s School in fourth with 107 points. These four teams received trophies and T-shirts for all members.
The Abbey sailors had earned a spot in the championship by placing second out of 11 teams on April 23 in the qualifier at Duxbury (MA) Yacht Club. In all, 16 teams made it to the championship round out of an original 49 teams. Helping the Abbey place well in the qualifier by turning in solid performances were Sydney Welch ’16, Jackie Morrison ’18 and Faith Cournoyer ’19.
Featured photo – Abbey sailors with N.E. High School Women’s Championship trophy, L to R: Kelly Shea, Sydney Welch, Jackie Morrison, Emily Bredin, Coach Jonathan Harley, Grace Benzal, Jessica McJones. Missing: Faith Cournoyer.