Have you heard of the Staples High School varsity sailing team?
I doubt it. They fly under everyone’s radar.
After this weekend though, you might.
The Wrecker sailors brave uncharted waters today and Sunday. They compete in the New England Schools Sailing Association fleet racing championship. If they
are lucky sail well, they’ll advance to the national finals for the first time in Staples history.
Formed about 15 years ago, Staples sailing has become increasingly competitive in recent years. The team is led by Samantha Parisi, a multi-time North America racing champion in her 1st season here, following stints in San Francisco and Annapolis.
The sailors braved icy winds during trials at Cedar Point Yacht Club in Westport. They practice 4 times a week, and hold twice-weekly regattas.
“They were excited to get out on the water and hone their skills,” Parisi says. “Now they’re ready to take on a higher level of competition.”
The Wreckers are 7-1 in their league — the best overall record.
The weekend competition will be stiff. NESSA was formed in 1930 by 12 prep schools. It’s grown today to 90 schools — but is still private school dominated. Only a few public school have won New England titles. The only one in Fairfield County was Darien, back in 1973.
Today, Staples races up to 14 times at Indian Harbor Yacht Club in Greenwich. The 4 teams with best overall scores heads to Brown University on Sunday, joining 12 finalists from 3 other locations. The top 2 teams there vie for the Mallory Trophy – the national championship – in Charleston, South Carolina next month.
There’s no fan bus. WWPT will not livestream the races.
But — with a bit of luck and the right wind — Staples’ sailors might be the school’s first national champion sports team in history.