CASTINE — The 21st annual Downeast Fleet Racing Invitational Regatta, sponsored by George Stevens Academy, gets underway this weekend with a forecast of morning showers and brisk winds on Saturday, clouds on Sunday and mild weather throughout.
Maine Maritime Academy hosts the event, furnishes the 420 dinghies used for racing and provides staffing and auxiliary boats.
As of Monday, 18 high schools, including some from Massachusetts. New Hampshire and Vermont, had registered for the event.
In addition to GSA, Maine teams coming to Castine include: Mount Desert Island High School; Portland HS; Falmouth, Yarmouth and Camden Hills high schools; Oceanside HS in Rockland; Islesboro Central School; Cape Elizabeth HS; Cheverus HS; and community or consolidated school teams from Stockton Harbor and Southern Maine.
Racing is slated to get started in Smith Cove across Castine Harbor at 11 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday.
Last year, 19 teams sailed in the Downeast, which also served as the Maine Schools Sailing Association Championship event. Teams from Massachusetts, Marblehead HS, Tabor Academy and the Belmont Hill School, took the top three spots. Camden Hills Regional was the first Maine school, finishing fourth overall.
Marblehead took home the perpetual Jim Modisette Memorial Downeast Regatta Trophy for placing first in fleet.
Camden won the perpetual Maine Schools Sailing Association Championship Trophy named for longtime MDIHS sailing coach Griff Fenton. The first Butch Minson Corinthian Spirit Award, provided by MMA in memory of the school’s longtime sailing coach Butch Minson, went to Emily Lau of Islesboro Central School. Minson served as principal race officer for nearly every DER since its inception.
Last weekend, seven MDIHS sailors traveled to Portland on Saturday for a team race hosted by Cheverus High School.
The Trojans were winners in one of four best-of-three match race series. MDI lost 2-0 to Portland HS and Cape Elizabeth HS and 2-1 to Camden. The Trojans won their series against the Southern Maine team 2-1.