Sailing hopes growing numbers creates growing success

Sofie Kennedy, Executive Editor

With an increase in size but a decrease in average sailor’s age, the sailing team hopes to set sail towards Nationals this year. 

“Since my freshman year, the team has quadrupled in size, now standing at nearly 40 sailors,” senior captain Uly Hennelly said. “The coaches are capitalizing on the opportunity and focusing on fostering a competitive environment on the team. We use feedback loops in which those who push themselves during practice are rewarded with positions in a regatta (sailing race)”.

The team has put emphasis on boat handling and race strategy during practices in an attempt to reach their season goals. 

“Boat handling refers to how a skipper and crew sail their boat and requires spending time in the boats, testing different trims, weight distributions and headings to maximize boat speed,” Hennelly said. “Usually, we have 10-12 boats racing every practice, replicating the environments we’ll eventually see in the regattas over the weekend.”

On Sept. 7, the A team placed second in the A division 35 points behind Culver Military Academy at their regatta in Wilmette. Last season, the team made it to the Great Oaks National Qualifier in Detroit but failed to qualify for Nationals in New Orleans. 

“The competition this season is very different from past years. The older generation of seniors is gone, leaving space for new leaders in MISSA (Midwest Interscholastic Sailing Association),” Hennelly said.

The Kits will be attempting the MISSA National Qualifiers again on Sept. 28 & 29 in Detroit.