Castine—For some up-close, live-action sailing, spectators can crowd the Maine Maritime Academy float in Castine Harbor as high school sailing teams from across Maine and New England compete in 10 races on Saturday and then, again, on Sunday in the annual Downeast Regatta.
The racing is at its best under sunny skies and a steady wind, but, whatever the weather, the varsity sailors set out in their 420 skiffs, heading for the three marks that form the course.
The young sailors never know what to expect.
Last year, light winds cut the racing short on both days but the year before, a heavy 20- to 22-knot wind on opening day that was capsizing boats delayed racing to Sunday.
Maine Maritime Academy provides a launch from the Castine waterfront for crews, coaches and spectators and, after the last race on Sunday, welcomes the teams and fans to its own waterfront for trophy presentations to the Downeast Champion, the Maine School Sailing Association Champion and, to the top Maine winner of the year, the Modisette Trophy, named after Jim Modisette, who started the event in 2000.