SM East team takes inaugural Kansas High School Sailing Championship

Robert Duff and Kevin Krugh won the inaugural Kansas High School Sailing Championship.
Robert Duff and Kevin Krugh won the inaugural Kansas High School Sailing Championship.

Two teams representing SM East earlier this month came out atop the first-ever Kansas High School Sailing Championship, a new competition organized by two northeast Johnson County men.

Ted Lischer and Mike Duff say the premise of the event is to encourage high-school aged students to hone their sailing skills either to prepare them for sailing more competitively at the college level or just to gain confidence to make sailing a lifelong endeavor.

“I really think sailing is just about the best family activity there is,” Lischer said. “And, believe it or not, we live in one of the best sailing areas in the country — we’ve got access to good lakes with strong winds.”

Lischer worked with the University of Kansas sailing team to arrange to use their fleet of 420s — the dinghies most commonly used at the college level — for the championship event. Teams from SM East, St. Thomas Aquinas, Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy and Blue Valley North competed in the races at Clinton Lake, with the two SM East teams taking first and second place. (The second SM East team was actually made up of two Indian Hills eighth graders). Robert Duff (Mike’s son) and Kevin Krugh won the event. Jack Lischer (Ted’s son) and Davis Drew took second.

“We had a few teams who were sitting on the sidelines this year, but we’ve got 10 team who want to compete next year,” Lischer said.

Lischer said he thinks many kids who are exposed to sailing as young children will be attracted to the club.

“We want kids who have some experience with it to come back to sailing,” he said. “This is an opportunity to compete for their school and do something other than play xBox.”

Regatta photos courtesy Mike Duff.
Regatta photos courtesy Mike Duff.