The Olde Harwich High School Varsity Sailing Team

This website is being kept as
a tribute to those who have gone before us.

(team was absorbed into the Monomoy Regional School District in 2011)


Laura Adams
Last Captain 2010

Rick Paulus, Last Sailing Coach

John Dickson, Asst. Sailing Coach
Tom Leach, Asst. Sailing Coach

Kevin Turner, Principal
Carolyn Cragin, Superintendent of Schools
Paul "Spanky" Demanche , Athletic Director

Harwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

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Welcome to the Rough Riders Varsity Sailing Team Homepage. The team sails from Saquatucket Harbor. This location provides our team with quick access to the water.

One thing you will notice immediately is that everyone follows the prescripts of NESSA including the coaching staff which includes wearing a life vest, all the time while on the water. This is not only good practice but great personal insurance. All teammates capsize, and are required to learn self-rescue techniques. On windy days we sail inside the Wychmere Harbor. On medium air days we can sail inside the protection of the Outer Harbor and on shifty and light days we can take the action outside the breakwater on to Nantucket Sound.

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The Harwich Rough Riders take their name from the Rough Rider Regiment a US Army Cavalry unit lead by a fearless lieutenant colonel and later our 26th US President Theodore Roosevelt who served from 1901-1909. Our fleet of a dozen 420's, each named after an important aircraft carrier that served the United States Navy beginning with World War II, are maintained by the Harbormasters Department and stored at the boatshop on Bank Street. We thank dockmaster Tom Telesmanick for his incredible skills of repairing nicks and bruises on the hulls, keeping our boats in great shape.

The 2011 team offers a fresh beginning. With six returning members at this time Captain Laura Adams has a challenge before the new season to attract experienced sailors and recruits to the team. High School sailing is the most rewarding and challenging co-ed sport at Harwich. Beyond that it is just a lot of fun! The word is out in the freshmen class. If you have an interest please find Laura or talk to Mr. Dickson in the History/Government Department who is the school contact for our team.

In 2010, Laura Adams, Nate Childs and Max Dowgiallo shared captaincy. Although the early season proved a challenge seniors Janelle Veary and Max provided sensible sailing when it was most needed and brought the team back to an 8-12 record with the help of a solid core of underclassmen including Laura.

The 2009 team led by Kristen Walther had a really fun season with many members doing the yeomen work. Although our season record did not reveal it , the Rough Riders were "right there" against challengers in 2009.

The 2007 and 2008 team was led by two juniors Gillian Smith and Peter Sawyer. Two other juniors Tim Adams, and Glenn Mallory did the heavy lifting with the help of junior Kristen Walther and a bevy of eight sophomores. Coached by Rick Paulus in 2007 patience and hard work brought the team forward and by midway through the season we were on track picking up 5 meets in the win column. Kevin Dooley took over as coach in 2008 and brought a new skill set to the team putting us definitively in the win column with a 11-3 record. Coach Dooley's unique coaching style and the use of team plays and reviewing sailing film footage with chalk talks before and after nearly every practice is credited for the team overall improvement.

The 2006 team enjoyed a really fun season captained by senior Jesse Hewitt (c). Other graduating seniors were Brenden McVickar, Mary Wesp, Matt Brown, Quincy Dewing, and Brian Boyle. We miss our all our graduates and wish them well. This was our second full season at our home base Saquatucket Harbor (the team sailed from Chatham Yacht Club 1998-2002, and Stone Horse Yacht Club 2003-2004). It was a warm spring and great sailing season which showed improvements all along the way.

In 2005, the team enjoyed a really fun season captained by Heather Mallory (c) with the help of Meghanne Currie. We miss our two graduates and wish them well. This was our first full season at Saquatucket Harbor (the team sailed from Chatham Yacht Club 1998-2002, and Stone Horse Yacht Club 2003-2004). We are greatful to the Stone Horse Yacht Club for opening its hearts for the high school team but for now we seem to have developed our own identity at the Town Marina. The generosity of the SHYC with the donation of two 420's and loan of the large dinghy dock to our program however is only matched by the Trey Helliwell fund which has helped to purchase new sails and the help of Pine Harbor Woodwork's jamie McGrath who has lent us a permanent shed as a headquarters. Many many thanks.

This year Rick Paulus is back as coach and Tom Leach continues to support the team as assistant coaches.

We will begin practice the mid March.

Dry suits are the order and the infrequent capsize is usually dealt with by a quick righting. If you think kids today are any less tough, think again about bobbing around in the 38F water and a -5 wind chill.

The word is out that there is a significant group of freshmen that cannot wait to get on the water. Complete Roster will soon be updated and posted on ths site when we are certain of these numbers.

The one-design International 420 is the boat used by the sailing team.Here Shawna O'Loughlin and Gina in tacking practice.
The team races and practices in their 420's four days a week.

Team History

2006, saw a jelling team led by Jesse Hewitt pick up it's momentum by the end of season and beating Falmouth at Home. Standouts were Gillian Smith, Pete Sawyer, Tim Adams, Brian Boyle, Brian MacVicker and Mary Wesp. We continued learning and improving and who will ever forget some of the good times like our racce picnic and the 'Bell-and-Back' practice.

In 2005, the team moved its location into Saquatucket Harbor due to construction at Stone Horse Yacht Club at Wychmere Harbor. The team has began to jell and the spirit and comradery has never been stronger led by Heather Mallory who is a cadet at MMA.

In 2003 and 2004, the Rough Riders after the graduation of a large select group of seniors, the team rebuilding fell to the underclassmen who have enthusiastically melded together in a strong effort.

The Harwich High Sailing Team's 2002 sailing season (13-7) on the waters of Pleasant Bay culminated in a 3rd Place finish at the State Fleet Racing Championships at MIT (we beat BC High!) and placed 2nd at the Cape & Islands Championship which was hosted at Chatham Yacht Club.

In 2001 we were (11-5) and sailed to a 2nd Place finish at the State Fleet Racing Championships at MIT behind BC High and we won the Cape & Islands Championship.

In 2001 and 2002 the Cape Cod Times named two Harwich seniors Tom Leach and Jamie Scarbrough to the Cape Cod Times Cape & Islands All-Star Sailing Team. Both young men have continued their sailing career in college, Tom as a cadet sailing for the United States Coast Guard Academy and Jamie sailing at Duke.

Coach John Dickson and crew Mary Wesp.
Once again we have chosen to keep Saquatucket Harbor as our base of operations. Harwich student crews will be sailing from beautiful Saquatucket Harbor daily. It all starts somewhere. Ask a sailing team member about joining the Rough Riders sailing team. Practices start the tail end of March.

In 2000 the team was 11-3, led by senior co-captains Josh Mongeau and Mike O'Loughlin, ranked #10 in New England; 2nd Place at Cape & Islands Invitational; 3rd Place at Down East Championships; 8th Place at the Mass States; 2nd Place at Figawi High School Fleet Regatta.

Harwich team members were particularly proud of their effort at the Massachusetts State Sailing Championship at MIT in 1999 and their victory at the premier 1999 Cape & Islands Invitational Championship Regatta.

The premier team went 4-1 on its 1998 season. 1999 saw an influx of a solid corp of freshmen and the team boosted its record to 7-3. In 1999 we became full members of the New England Interscholastic Sailing Association and the Interscholastic Sailing Association. 1999 the team was 2nd out of all schools at the Tabor Academy Invitational; 1st in the Cape & Islands Invitational; 5th at the Mass State Championships.

Our Coaches

Both Tom Leach and John Dickson continue to volunteer as assistant coaches. John received his training on Pleasant Bay and the Harvard Varsity Sailing Club and coached our team since its inception in 1998. Tom (Tufts) brings his lifetime experience as a one-design sailor and harbormaster to the team and has been onboard with the program for the last nine years.

The challenge of short course one-design sailboat racing requires student crews to make quick strategic decisions in difficult and tight situations to be successful. High school sailing teams are extraordinary and we are proud to know that the Harwich School administration recognizes the Harwich High Sailing Team as a natural for our unique Cape Cod town.

Heather Mallory returns for her second season as experienced crew.
Capable crews know sometimes it takes shear determination and guts to be part of a tough Rough Rider sailing squad.

The one-design International 420 is the boat used by the sailing team.

Sailing Team Fund Drive

This sport does not come cheap, however, it is amazing how much we have been able to accomplish with our meager budget.

The Harwich Sailing Team members need to raise $6,000 to cover the cost of purchasing new sets of sails for eight boats, drysuits and life jackets for the team. Your donation to our cause is extremely welcome. Any help you can give us to reach our goal large or small is important. Please make your check payable to the Harwich Sailing Team Fund and send it to:

Attention: Mrs. Higgins
Harwich High School
75 Oak Street
Harwich, MA 02645

Wish List

  • Used 420 sails in decent shape. Like every high school with a sailing team, we are always looking to upgrade our old "rags". If there is a college or yacht club out there willing to donate their sails please contact or call Tom Leach at 508-430-7532.
  • A decent outboard motorboat like a whaler or maritime skiff up to say 20' to be used as a chaseboat or committee boat.
  • A small wooden shed in good shape as a sail locker for equipment storage.
  • A good mechanic to volunteer some time for repairs on our 100Hp Mariner engine and get out Seacraft back together.
  • Volunteers to donate some time to help recondition our aging fleet of 420's at the harbormaster's workshop.
  • Shop casters (so we can skid our 420 racks)
  • A floor carpet 6'x9' in good condition and clean.
  • Dry suits (all sizes)
  • Sailing life jackets (type 3)
  • 420 blades (rudders and centerboards)
  • Braided line for sheets and halyards.

    Practices & Team Info

    Heather Mallory and Neal Donovan prepare to get underway from Stone Horse float.
    Rough Riders prepare boats before a heavy practice at Stone Horse Yacht Club. The team sailing team spirit of "one for all" is typical of Harwich High sports teams.

    Sailing practices daily begin March 21st from 2:30 PM until 5:30 PM at Saquatucket Harbor (Harbormasters Office). Beginning sailors may have some separate practices. Students must provide their own transportation or gain parental permission to ride with other students who must be at least seventeen years of age. Bus transportation will be provided to competitions not practices. If practice is canceled due to weather, we will try to make it up on the Tuesday or Thursday of that week. Team practices are critical to the development of the team. It is important that you are committed to attending all practices and rescheduled practices. If you cannot make practice be sure to let Coach Dickson know.

    Some competitions because of their invitational nature will limit the number of sailors each school may send to a given event. However, everyone will compete during the year.

    Important Contact Information

    Because by its nature we are out on the water, it is important that we maintain contact with shore. Here are several ways to reach the coaches.

    Asst. Coach John Dickson 508-432-7207(W) 508-945-9475(H)

    Asst. Coach Tom Leach , Harbormaster 508-430-7532(W) 508-237-9291(c)

    Click for scenes MIT 2002

    Safety Patrol Boat VHF Channel 66

    Tom Leach, cell phone 508-237-9291

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