Club sports are in abundance at the University of Miami, but only one can be classified as the oldest on campus.
With ideal waves and wind movement all over the South Florida coast, it should come as no surprise that the sailing club holds that distinction.
Whether on Miami Beach or Biscayne Bay, Miami’s sailing team practices four times each week. Based out of the Coconut Grove Yacht Club, the club practices with eight Flying Juniors, but the majority of college events use different types of boats.
These events, or regattas, are usually held in two-person Club 420’s and Flying Juniors or one-person Lasers. For sailors to be part of those events, each one must attend at least two of the four mandatory practices. With practice comes knowledge, and with knowledge come wins. The club has its sights set on district competitions this year.
“It’s great to be a part of a team that’s rising so fast, season after season, and that our recruits are getting better year after year,” club member Ben Jassin said. “I’m proud of how far we’ve come and excited to see how great the future of this team will be as our hard work pays off.”
Championship regattas are usually held in the New England area or the mid-Atlantic intersectional to assure competition against the best teams. UM’s club hopes to make it to one of those events this season.
Traveling to such highly regarded regattas carries a big expense. For each one, U Sailing sets a goal of around $2000 in fundraising. This goal can be achieved with the help of donations from members, family, friends and organizations that love the sport of sailing.
“There is a local snipe fleet (group of sailors) here at U Sailing and their class motto is ‘serious sailing, serious fun,’” club President Nikki Bruno said. “I like to think that we emulate that adage, as we are not just a top-10 nationally ranked team, but great at having fun off the water too.”
With some of the best sailing conditions in the world, Miami is home to the U.S. Olympic trials and constantly gives the UM sailors motivation to better themselves.
The team is hopeful that they will reach new highs this season.
“Go big or go home. We’ve been working toward this goal for years,” junior Chelsea Carlson said. “I think this year we will finally attain it.”