Sailing cruises to a smooth finish

Peter Barbato, Staff Writer

A third place finish at the Great Lakes Qualifier regatta secures the sailing team a spot in the Great Lakes Championship.

“We really excelled at the Great Lakes Q (Qualifier) Regatta,” coach Zac Hernandez explained. “We learned this season that our Evanston team tends to perform better in heavier winds, and those were the conditions given.”

Hernandez praised the team’s heavy wind sailing, but explained that in order to compete with elite teams, they must improve on their light wind sailing.

“Where our team tends to shine in heavy winds, we need to focus now on light wind sailing if we want to compete against the inland lake teams in the Midwest who excel in that field,” Hernandez said.

While the team took a hit losing their starting four sailors last season due to seniority, the younger sailors have been stepping up to fill those roles.

“I remember going to my first regatta as a freshman and not really knowing what was going on,” senior Oscar Underberg said. “It was good to watch them race and start to get a feel for things. It bodes well for the future to have these new sailors having good experiences and wanting to race.”

Hernandez is excited about what the youth could do for the club under the right guidance. Hard work and discipline will be their path to success.

“This season our sailors really wanted to perform well against our competitors,” Hernandez said. “We have trained hard by incorporating additional Friday practices, two-weekend clinics with college sailors and drills specifically designed to pinpoint aspects of boat handling, speed and racing tactics in order to prepare for the regattas this season.”

While the fall season is still wrapping up, the spring season comes after only a short three month offseason. 

 “For me, it’s my last season sailing, so I just want to finish strong and enjoy the rest of my time on the team,” Underberg said. “We’re all excited for the last action before the spring season, and we want to end on a positive note.”

The team looks to build off their momentum gained in the fall season to excel in ___ tournaments during the upcoming spring season.