Community Sports

Everson woman happy with 10th place at national sailing championships

Robyn Lesh can’t wait to prove she’s even better than the 10th best women’s college sailor in the nation. She only wishes wind and fog had not prevented her from getting a better chance to prove it on Bellingham Bay.

“But that’s OK — it’s all fun!” the Massachusetts Institute of Technology junior from Everson said after finishing 10th among an elite field of 18 women who sailed 14-foot Lasers in the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association Singlehanded National Championships on Sunday, Nov. 9.

“I definitely feel if we could have continued racing (Sunday), I would have moved up,” said Lesh, who had only five buoyed races of 25 minutes each along with all 18 women and 18 men before the wind died down in mid-afternoon and the sixth race and the rest of the program had to be abandoned.

Heavy fog prevented any racing Saturday.

“I know I can do better,” said Lesh, who opened with 14th place, then scored three consecutive 7th-place finishes to convince her that she has considerable more potential.

“I did one tack wrong in the fifth race, and that cost me (with a 13th), said Lesh, who finished with 48 points, the total of her finishes. “I definitely want to qualify for the nationals again next year.”

Lesh was absolutely thrilled not only to race on home waters — the race was held here for the first time — but to place in the top 10. She said she could not have imagined she would accomplish such a feat when she was competing for the Whatcom Community Sailing high school program founded, operated and coached by Scott Wilson.

“If anyone had told me then that I could be 10th in the nation, I would have wondered, ‘What would that be in?’ ” said Lesh, who has a grade-point average of 4.6 on a 5.0 scale as an ocean engineering major at the famed university.

Wilson, who served as meet director, said there was only one other Washington state qualifier among the 36 national competitors. Eliza Dawson, a University of Washington freshman from Port Townsend, finished 12th among the women.

“My (East Coast) district is the toughest sailing conference in the nation,” said Lesh, who had to contend with Sunday morning’s “really strong winds and large waves,” as Wilson put it.

The top three men were College of Charleston’s Stefano Peschiera, Stanford’s Luke Miller and the Coast Guard Academy’s Avery Fanning. Peschiera earned the Glen S. Foster Trophy.

The first three women were Boston College’s Erika Reinake, Brown’s Lindsey Baab and the Coast Guard Academy’s Dana Rhode. Reinake won the Janet Lutz Trophy.

“I was happy with that (Lesh’s 10th place),” said Wilson while sitting with 5-month old daughter Emma and wife Mallory Wilson, both of whom would be thrilled to see their daughter turn out to be as enthusiastic about sailing as Lesh.















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Name: 1110 Sailing
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