Mackenzie Cooper and his Tabor High School Sailing teammates wrapped up a successful 2012 High School Sailing season with a second place finish at the ISSA Team Racing National Championships (Baker Trophy) sailed at MIT.
Cooper and crew Riley Calhoun
Tabor started out their pursuit of another National championship with a strong performance in the qualifying round of the 2012 Baker trophy by going 10-1 and earning the #1 seed going into the Championship Gold Round. Tabor opened with solid victories over Lake Forest, St. Thomas Aquinas, Tom’s River South HS and Bainbridge HS before facing a challenge from Cathedral Catholic HS, Tabor was only able to pull off the victory in the final 20-meters of the race through a combination of good boat handling and solid tactics.
Standing at 5-0, Tabor started to work through the rest of the fleet amassing victories over Antilles HS, Newport Harbor HS, and St. Stanislaus College before facing the other strong team – Pt Loma HS. Tabor dominated off the line, scooting out to a solid 1-2 lead that they held around the course for the win. Then, Tabor pounded NESSA rival St. George’s to run their record to 10-0. Maybe a little too comfortable, Tabor started poorly against Severn School and couldn’t catch up, losing the first race of the day.
At this point, Tabor, Pt Loma, and Antilles were into the Gold Round. St. George’s and Cathedral Catholic were tied for the fourth slot, but the Pt Loma- St. George’s race was order re-sailed due to a breakdown when the teams meet. St. George’s held the lead at the leeward mark, but could not hold off Loma.
Tabor started the championship round with a loss to Cathedral Catholic while Point Loma beat Antilles to move 1 point ahead of Tabor. Tabor rebounded with a win over Antilles, but Point Loma held served beating rival Cathedral Catholic. In the best race of the day, Point Loma separated the fleet at the windward mark, pushing one of our boats way back. Left with tons of space to operate, the first two Tabor boats couldn’t decide whether to push ahead or come back to help. They ended up doing a little of both in an effort to regain control of the race and almost pulled it off. But the loss placed Point Loma two up on Tabor with three races left. Tabor bounced back yet again beating Cathedral Catholic, but Point Loma held off Antilles to stay two up. The Tabor-Antilles race was “black flagged” meaning there was a foul that the umpires could not determine on the water and a hearing was held after the race.
While all that was going on, Cathedral Catholic upset Point Loma and suddenly, the entire regatta came down to the last race.
Tabor started well against Point Loma and had the lead for a while but in the back and forth action, Point Loma eventually pulled ahead and won the 2012 Baker Trophy. As it turned out, Tabor was penalized 6 points in the Black flag race, turning a victory on the water into a loss and making the final race moot.
Sailing for Tabor were Doyle Calhoun, Riley Calhoun, Mackenzie MacRae, Asa Smith, Sean Golden, William Godfrey, Alex Jacob and Cooper. This year marks the 7th second place finish for Tabor. When combined with the 8 National Championships the school has won, Tabor continues to be the most dominate High School sailing program in the country.