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Started competitive racing: When I was 9
Learned to sail: Stone Horse Yacht Club
Sailing inspirations: My mom and grandfather
Favorite pregame ritual: Playing “Shipping Up To Boston”
Coolest thing so far this year: Getting all new boats and equipment
Season’s goal: BACK-TO-BACK STATE CHAMPS!!!
The Wellesley High School sailing team and crew leader/co-captain Summer Mills have picked up where they left off, beginning their state title defense with a 5-1 start.
Mills has loved to sail for as long as she can remember and began sailing when she was just 4. She was introduced to the sport by her mom and grandfather on Cape Cod, where Mills belongs to the Stone Horse Yacht Club.
Mills had the chance to sail at a competitive level. In order to prepare for her matches, she practiced with her family during the weekends and then participated in her first event when she was 9 years old.
She practiced whenever she could during the summer. Her love for sailing and her desire to get better has continued to this day,
“I tend to sail for close to 3 hours a day during the summer. While it may seem like a chore to some, I love it so much that I always want to do more.”
Mills quickly improved and made the varsity squad as a freshman. Mills’ main duties are trimming the jib (controlling the secondary sail at the front of the boat), body/weight positioning (making sure the boat is flat and sailing as fast as possible), and communicating with her skipper about other boat locations. The fate of the boat rests in her hands, and she has to constantly deal with that pressure.
Mills is known for her energetic personality and consistent support of her teammates. She is always the first to congratulate others on their success, earning the friendship of teammates and admiration of coaches, including Head Coach Larry Lovett.
Lovett, who has coached at the school for 12-plus years, said Mills is “talented, knowledgable, and fair: She leads by example and all the underclassmen look up to her.”
Lovett reflected: “Last year Summer set a great example of sportsmanship, something I value above even winning. In sailing, [team members] have to call their own fouls, and sometimes a team may need a witness to support their calls. Another team asked Summer to witness for them. If she didn’t, that team may have lost their protest, which would have resulted in our team moving up in the standings. But Summer did the right thing— that team won the division and we came in second, but I could not have been prouder.”
Although Wellesley ultimately lost the match last year, that didn’t stop Mills and the Raiders from continuing to get better on their path to a state championship. Mills prioritizes the team’s growth over anything else. “I love being able to see the development from my teammates whom I have been sailing with since either the beginning of the season or since years past. Sailing is a very complicated sport to understand and it makes me very proud to see my teammates grasp its concepts and maybe even help other rookies, too.”
Mills’ main duties as the crew in sailing for Wellesley High are trimming the jib (controlling the secondary sail at the front of the boat), body/weight positioning (making sure the boat is flat and sailing as fast as possible), and communicating with her skipper about other boat locations. The fate of the boat rests in her hands, and she has to constantly deal with that pressure.
Off the water, Mills is a dedicated student. She keeps herself organized to succeed as a student-athlete and still enjoy her free time on weekends. “I love sailing and hanging out with my friends, so I don’t want anything to come in the way of that. I plan my homework out accordingly and get my work done whenever I have free time so I won’t sacrifice time with my friends and teammates.”
With that focus, Mills hopes to help bring the Raiders back-to-back titles.
Article written by John Battaglino, Bradford ‘24
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