OXFORD, MD - Four Summit High School sailors -- Sean Groskoph, Sophie Lusty, Hanna Mercurio and Ben Samson -- claimed first place in the MASSA Fall Silver Fleet Championship. The Hilltoppers' 87-point total bested Annapolis High School, second with 93 points, and St Augustine Prep (NJ), with 99 points.
The team earned a birth at the event with a sixth-place finish at the New Jersey fall Qualifier on September 28. Seventeen high schools from Rochester, NY, to Norfolk, VA, competed in the Silver Fleet Championship. The first day started with an outgoing tide and a light northerly breeze that was forecast to die, which it did prior to noon. The northerly breeze was replaced with a very light southerly breeze which lasted for just about two hours until the wind quit entirely.
The Summit 'A boat' -- skipper Groskoph and crew Lusty -- kicked off the regatta with a first-place finish in the first race, followed by a second-place finish in the second race. The 'B boat' -- skipper Mercurio and crew Samson -- took to the water and followed with second- and fourth-place finishes in their first set. This put Summit in an early first-place position which the Maroon and White held for most of the regatta. The first day ended with seven races competed, four in the 'A fleet' and three in the 'B fleet', and Summit in first place by two points over Archbishop Spaulding High School (MD).
The second day of the regatta brought conditions that were completely different from day one. The sailors arrived at Tred Avon Yacht Club in Oxford to temperatures in the low 60’s, a driving rain and a forecast for a building northerly breeze expected to top out with gusts well over 20 knots.
The race committee did a stellar work to get in seven more races in increasingly challenging conditions. The Summit 'A boat' kicked off their first set of the day with another first-place finish, making it clear that The 'Top was focused on staying on top.
The overall lead of the regatta changed several times during the second day with Summit High School, Annapolis High School (MD) and Archbishop Spaulding High School (MD) each holding the lead at various times during the day. Summit took the lead for good in the last set of the regatta.
The 'Summit A' boat ended the regatta with a third-place finish in their last race and the 'B boat' ended with a fourth in their last race, putting an exclamation point on a fantastic regatta.