Cove High students sail away with honors in regatta
Fri, 2016-11-04 05:00 News Staff
By WENDY SLEDD
CCISD Public Information Officer
AUSTIN — There was a lot of catching up to do for CCHS senior Brett Alber. He had to learn the ropes quickly or he and his teammate would find themselves sunk in the competition.
Alber and CCHS freshman Eli Ortiz represented Coppears Cove in the Austin Yacht Club High School Fall Classic Regatta on Lake Travis. Ortiz has been sailing competitively for three years. This year is his first full year sailing in 4.7 lasers--one man boats. Ortiz is ranked ninth out of 45 in the state of Texas and this is his first year competing for the AYC. The previous two years, he competed with the Corpus Christi Yacht Club.
While Ortiz had a few years of experience under his belt and a credible reputation, teammate Alber was completely new to the sport and entering the contest after only a couple of practices. Ortiz’s usual partner, Tessa Bliss who competed with him on four separate occasions, was unable to attend and that is when Alber was recruited.
“Being new to sailing while my partner was experienced was a challenge,” Alber said. “He was skilled unlike myself.”
Alber said he definitely gained new skills every time the boat capsized and did a deathroll.
“Our boat kept flipping over and over again,” he said. “But, I had a really great time and gained experience that I can carry through life.”
For Ortiz, the competition was interesting because he was sailing with a new partner and kept forgetting he needed to communicate each step that his partner needed to take.
“Our placement as number 12 was very unexpected since it was Brett’s first time,” Ortiz said. “If he and I get more practice, we can become better and better.”
The team ended in 12th place out of 17 team in the Flying Juniors category which is double handed or two-man boats.
When the AYC was selected to be part of the South East District of the Interscholastic Sailing Association, the South East district included the Florida Pan Handle, Southern Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. It is one of seven ISSA districts in the United States. The Austin Yacht Club High School Fall Classic Regatta was the first regatta under this umbrella and AYC hopes to have another one this spring.