ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — High school sailors with the Rochester Yacht Club are ready for some competition!

Teams from Fairport and Brighton are representing the Rochester Yacht Club’s High School Sailing League (NYISA-NW) this weekend, for the Mid-Atlantic Scholastic Sailing Association (MASSA) Fleet Championship.

The competition takes place in Christ Church, Virginia.

“It’s very exciting that our kids have this opportunity,” said Liam Faudree, Junior Sailing Director at the club.

Ten different area high schools participate in the sport through the club’s league.

“Our kids have this opportunity to go and race against the top teams in the country, 16 other teams,” Faudree said.

To qualify for the championship, you have to be in high school, but in the club’s league, Faudree says you’ll find all kinds of ages and levels.

“They get to come down here, hang out with friends from all different schools, different walks of life,” said Faudree.

Finn Mahan is a senior with Brighton High School, heading to the competition this weekend.

“It was a really big event to qualify for. We’re really excited and amped-up to go compete with really some of the best teams in the country,” he said.

Mahan plans to continue the hobby into college, and the rest of his life.

“I started sailing at a young age, I started in eighth grade and really loved it, now I’m going to sail in college at Maritime College,” he said.

Members of the team say it’s a special community for lifelong friendships, and a chance to escape the world.

“It’s a great escape, from like reality everything happening in the world,” Faudree said. “We started the sailing season this year and they would have snowball fights, breaking ice and getting in the boats, and the kids show up when it’s 30 degrees out, and snowing, and they want to go sailing.”

Matthew Lago says his favorite part of the sport is feeling in control of his boat.

“For sailing I don’t know what it is, just being on the water and the freedom, I’m making my own decisions on what to do,” he said.

The spring season ends in May, but Faudree says there are opportunities to sail throughout the summer.

“They have opportunities throughout the summer to sail on big boats that the members have,” he said.

There is also a summer camp in June, Monday through Friday for seven weeks. The day camp runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Faudree says no experience is necessary, and ages 6-18 are welcome.

Faudree says they can help with families who may not be able to afford it. Rochester Community Boating awards scholarships for those who need the help.

This year the club is hosting the ACCs; a national championship regatta. This regatta will take place from November 12-13. Teams from Florida to Maine and Illinois are attending.

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