Portsmouth Abbey sailors capture New Englands

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PORTSMOUTH — Portsmouth Abbey's sailing team won the New England Schools Sailing Association's (NESSA) Team Racing Championships over the weekend, bringing home the Fritz Mark Trophy for the first time in the 39-year history of the event.

The competition was held at the Hyannis Yacht Club in Massachusetts.

The Ravens faced off against teams from seven other New England-area schools in a qualifying double round robin on Saturday that consisted of 56 races. Winds were from the southwest, starting at 8 knots and building to 15 throughout the day.

After the first day of sailing, four teams — Portsmouth Abbey, Cape Cod Academy, Hotchkiss and St. George's — advanced to Sunday's single round robin championship round. The Abbey sailed six races in optimal conditions to come away with the championship.

Also participating were Greenwich High School in Connecticut, the 2012 event champion; and Tabor Academy, Manchester-Essex Regional High School and Duxbury High School in Massachusetts.

This weekend the Ravens will head to Davis Island in St. Petersburg Beach, Fla., where they'll compete for the 2013 Toby Baker Trophy in the Interscholastic Sailing Association's (ISSA) Team Race Nationals against 11 other teams from around the country.

Portsmouth Abbey

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.