About High School Sailing...
High school sailing, numbering over 500 sailing programs nationwide, is one of the fastest growing segments of the sport of sailing. Governed by the Interscholastic Sailing Association (ISSA) (website), high school sailing is divided into seven districts around the country, Northeast (NESSA), Mid-Atlantic (MASSA), South Atlantic (SAISA), Southeast (SEISA), Midwest (MISSA), Pacific Coast (PCISA), and Northwest (NWISA).
Schools schedule dual meets for team racing and compete in open and closed fleet racing events, mostly in double-handed dinghies. There is some single-handed competition, and there is a National Singlehanded Championship (Cressy Trophy). School teams reach the Nationals by competing successfully in district championships. Other National Championships are the Baker Trophy for team racing and the Mallory for two-division fleet racing in double-handed dinghies.
New England Schools Sailing Association
History of NESSA. NESSA has been a leader in high school sailing from the beginning. The sport started in New England, created by 12 prep schools in the 1930s. NESSA is where the first public school joined the organization in the 1970s. Rules and regulations that NESSA developed were used as the blueprint for the procedural rules used today. The objective of the New England Schools Sailing Association is to further the sport of sailing in New England secondary schools and to organize those schools competing by standardizing rules and procedures, and by aiding with scheduling. Today NESSA (website) consists of 80-90 schools located in all six New England states. The Annual NESSA Meeting of the organization is usually the first Sunday in November. NESSA organizes and maintains the master schedule for the New England regions, including qualifiers and championship, however local teams and schools schedule their own meets and scrimmages.