Minnetonka High School's Student News

Minnetonka Breezes

Minnetonka High School's Student News

Minnetonka Breezes

Minnetonka High School's Student News

Minnetonka Breezes

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All Aboard The MHS Sailing Team

Being close to Lake Minnetonka has its advantages: sandy beaches for swimming, cool islands to explore, and great sailing. Lake Minnetonka has been a popular spot for sailing for a very long time, and it is also home to the Minnetonka High School sailing team.

This team is unique because they have two seasons—fall and spring, where they race in two types of regattas: fleet races and team races. In fleet racing, 20 boats from various teams race against each other on a course. “It’s like a free-for-all,” as MHS sailing coach Sam Bartel describes it. However, in team racing, three boats from two different teams race against each other. They compete in local races against schools like White Bear Lake, Minneapolis, and Wayzata, and attend regional qualifiers to compete at the national level.

The MHS sailing team isn’t only for people who already know how to sail and race; it welcomes people from different ranges of experience. “It’s really open to everyone,” Lara Granucci, ‘24, added. “You don’t have to have prior racing experience to be on the team.” The experienced sailors are always willing to teach and help newcomers.

What’s different with sailing as opposed to other sports is that the training and race venues are not always consistent. “Sailing is different every day,” Bartel explained. The sailors train and compete in many different conditions, where the wind, waves, and weather vary. “There’s an infinite number of factors that you can be presented with.”

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Despite the sometimes serene waters and surrounding nature, sailing is not at all a quiet sport. At races and practices, you will hear the voices of teammates yelling and cheering each other on. “We always try to push each other to make the team better overall,” captain Evy Engebretson, ‘24, mentioned.

The sailing team may only get to train seven to eight months out of the year due to the lakes freezing in the winter, but they don’t let the cold stop them from accomplishing big things. This past season, the girls team competed in nationals in San Diego, California and placed 7th as a team against many other East and West coast schools that get to sail almost all year round. In addition to this, sailors Evy Engebretson, ‘24, and David Acheson, ‘24, won the Minnesota co-ed sailing championships last spring.

Thanks to the warm, short winter, the sailing team will begin training again soon for their spring season. “Our goal is to qualify for Baker (Oak Harbor, WA) and Mallory (Charleston, SC) nationals,” Engebretson stated. The team is ready to get back out on the water, train hard, and become the fastest and most tactical sailors they can be.

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