About Sharon Sailing

The purpose of the SHS website is to facilitate communication among those interested in Sharon High Sailing. It provides an introduction to the team as well as information needed by team members, other league participants, and those considering joining the team. On the About Us page, we describe the program and its membership (including a picture of the team), and we provide team history, fundraising information, and something about our venue as well as how to contact the coaches (and Website Manager). Our important requirements section can help students interested in joining the team and their parents know about prerequisites and what may be required for ongoing participation on the team.

From the requirements section below or via the tab above, one can navigate to the Gear page which provides details to assist sailors on dressing for safety and performance during different times of the year. Directions to our beach and a map appear on the Directions page. On the Schedule pages, the schedule of practices, meets, and regattas is provided for the current season. The results of competitions are presented on the Results page, and photos and videos are available on the Photos page.

The Program

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We are open to all Sharon high school students, male and female, novices to experienced sailors. We can accommodate about 25 to 30 sailors. High school sailing is a truly co–ed sport, where girls and boys compete equally against each other and have interchangeable roles as skippers and crews. Similarly, all grade levels sail together.

Although we occasionally sail other similar boats, the boats we most frequently sail are 420's. A 420 is a 13 foot, two person boat with a mainsail, jib, and a retractable centerboard.

For the SHS team, sailing is a two season sport – fall and spring. The fall season focuses on fleet racing regattas, boat handling and lots of practice. We have an intramural fleet race regatta at the end of both seasons.

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The spring season is about seventy five percent team racing and twenty five percent fleet racing. We compete in the greater Boston based Mass Bay League (MBL), as well as in the regional New England Schools Sailing Association (NESSA). We sail against public and private school teams of various skill levels and compete at both varsity and junior varsity levels.

We sail after school Monday through Thursday and occasionally on Friday. In the fall, we sail mostly at home. In the spring, we have around 20 team race meets at home and away. We also sail in five to seven additional regattas. We have events on more than half the weekends in the spring. During the week, those who are not traveling to away meets may have a home meet or practice.

Learn more about the unique experience of being a member of the Sharon high school sailing team.

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Requirements and Guidelines

A swimming test is administered at the beginning of the season for safety reasons. All school Athletic forms, including Medical forms, are also required to sail. For a detailed description of clothing and other gear that are required for sailing, especially when the water and/or weather is cold, check out our Gear Page.

If you are interested in joining the team, learn to sail in the years before high school. Here's how!

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Team History

The genesis of the Sharon High School sailing team was a proposal by a sophomore student, Sam Koval, to start a sailing club in 2002. The idea caught on and over the next several years, the organization grew and grew.

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Four seniors were given lifetime achievement awards for having qualified for two national events and one Atlantic coast championship event, for three years of top 12 rankings in New England, for two MBL Championship Regatta over all victories, for one MBL Team Race Regatta Championship, and for three undefeated MBL team race seasons.

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Venue

The team sails from Memorial Beach on Lake Massapoag in Sharon, across the street from the high school. The lake is a mile long and three quarters of a mile wide, and provides typical shifty–wind lake sailing. Our boats are sixteen 420’s that we have acquired (used) over the years. We have the use of a Boston Whaler rescue boat from the Massapoag Yacht Club as well as Coach Werden's own power boats which are helmed by the two coaches. With these resources, we are able to run two team races concurrently, allowing us to have simultaneous varsity and junior varsity races, or three and four way team race events. We can also host good sized fleet race regattas. Ample parking is available on site.

For Directions and a map to Sharon High Sailing, Click Here

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Team Fundraising

Starting with borrowed boats, the Sharon High Sailing program has been built by the extraordinary fundraising efforts of the students and coaches as well as by the outstanding generosity of the community. In the past, we have relied on fundraising for the maintenance and improvement of the equipment. For many years, we produced an annual “Racing the Wind” calendar which generated revenue from the sale of advertisements as well as the calendar itself. Some years, we were also able to conduct elementary sailing clinics for middle schoolers or engage in other small fund raising efforts. We are grateful to all of those who have helped us in the past including Eastern Bank which funded some new sails for us with a large grant to the Boosters Club in early 2008, Dedham Savings, and Sharon Credit Union which has given us a significant contribution many years in a row.

Since the high school no longer permits sports team fundraising outside of a 501(c)3 organization, donations to the team can now only be done via Friends of Sharon Sailing.

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Sharon high school Sailors

Team Picture

The 2018 / 2019 SHS Sailors

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Coach / contact Information

Team Coaches

Gary Werden
781-784-9269
gary4619@msn.com

Dave Bernard
topgum6@gmail.com




Website Manager

Annie Pennington
Annie@SharonSailing

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Gary Werden, a certified level 3 US Sailing coach, has been coaching the Sharon high school sailing team since 2003, and he’s been its head coach since 2006. Gary only began sailing at the age of 30, but he’s become a skilled sailor and accomplished racer in several different boat classes. During his time as head sailing coach, he has developed the Sharon Eagles from a small Division B sailing team into one of the most respected public high school teams in New England. In 2012, coach Werden was elected and continues to serve as President of the Mass Bay League with a membership of around 32 public and private secondary schools.

Besides regularly running high school meets and regattas (including the annual MBL Championship, the largest local high school regatta in the country,) Coach Werden has also been the principal race officer for several adult North American Championships in the Daysailer and Flying Scot classes.

Before retiring in 2006, Mr. Werden was an architect and builder, and later, an English teacher.

Retired periodontist, Dave Bernard, became the assistant coach of the Sharon High School sailing team in the fall of 2019. Sailing since the age of 16, he has extensive experience, mostly on large boats. For many years, he and his family lived aboard his 42-foot ketch during the summers, and he sailed his beloved Hinckley 38 for two years among the US and British Virgin Islands.

In 2007, Dave sold his dental practice and spent several years traveling along the East Coast of the US as far south as the Florida Keys. From there, he sailed to the Bahamas where he spent several winters. He and his wife have maintained a residence in Sharon since 1988.

Wanting to share his love of the sport, Dave has a good amount of experience teaching sailing to others. Most recently, he taught the fundamentals of sailing at Community Boating on the Charles River.

Dave has two sons who are married and living in the greater Boston area.