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Posts Tagged ‘university of michigan’

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University of Michigan Sailing Team’s Sarah Sloan has kept the SA’ers abreast of Midwest college sailing for the past couple of years, and she has a big announcement for all of you U of M parents and alums.  We’re stoked to get the chance to help college sailors out whenever we can – let us know how we can help your team.

10801800_10152365945322395_6352462841784983861_nAfter three years of fundraising, the University of Michigan Sailing Team reached the first half of our $200,000 Capital Campaign goal and purchased a brand new fleet of twelve FJs.  The boats, scheduled to be delivered from Zim within the next week, can’t come soon enough; the team’s 420s (which are older than their freshman recruits) are on their last legs. There were a few collisions during practice and regattas last fall that required fiberglass work to fix, tillers were breaking left and right (one of which could only be salvaged into an award for our Halloween costume practice), and more mysterious cracks were discovered after removing the boats from winter storage last week.

There is something undeniably thrilling about being the very first people to sail in boats that cost more than most team member’s cars, but the team can’t sit back and enjoy their hard work for too long. The next step is raising the money necessary for an endowment to maintain the fleet for future teams and, more importantly, pay for a coach. The team’s main focus is becoming more competitive within the ICSA, and it has become increasingly apparent over the past few seasons that they need a coach to compete at the level they want to on the east coast as Sailing World’s #1 Ranked co-ed MCSA team. Even boats with sails that aren’t rags and fiberglass that hasn’t gone soft due to water damage can’t change that.

On behalf of teams past, present, and future, thank you to all of our supporters and donors; none of this would have been possible without your help. We’re look forward to finally unloading the trailer and taking selfies with the newest additions to the University of Michigan Sailing Team.


April 2nd, 2015 by admin

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University of Michigan racer Sarah Sloan reports on what college sailors go through to get on the water in the deep-frozen midwest.  a  U of M alums should come and support your team; see their full schedule here and donate something toward their boat fund here – it’s tax-deductible!

IMG_3173No one understands cold quite like an MCSA sailor; early season practices can include pulling boats over patches of ice to reach open water, and it’s imperative crews know how to melt the ice off frozen sheets by whatever means necessary (no one is above sucking on the Cunningham just minutes before a race).

Traditionally, winter is supposed to turn into spring come March, but much like the kid at the party who can’t read between the lines when you say you’re washing your hair every night for the rest of the semester, this winter couldn’t take a hint.  Teams across the Midwest are still waiting for multiple feet of ice to thaw on inland lakes, and sailors have been forced to resort to extreme melting measures to salvage the spring season, because sometimes you need a friendly MCSA regatta and regatta party after numerous weekends competing against the big varsity teams on the East coast.

When it became increasingly apparent the snow wasn’t leaving any time soon, The University of Michigan Sailing Team began to consider spring practice-alternatives in addition to ICSA regattas, chalk talks, intramural broomball, and even part-time modeling in the case of one of our co-captains.  The team initially tried to escape the Polar Vortex by driving to Norfolk, Virginia for a spring break training trip, but the miserable weather followed them twelve hours south. Temperatures dropped from seventy the day before their arrival to thirty the day after. The first day of sailing was cancelled due to the latest snowstorm locals could remember, and didn’t rise much above forty the rest of the week. Fortunately for their hosts, the team took the bad weather back to Michigan, as temperatures rose to sixty the day of their departure.

Frustrated upon coming back to Michigan only to realize they’d have to drive to the east coast every time they wanted to sail, team members resorted to drastic measures to sail at home sooner. Members of the executive board ventured to Baseline Lake in mid-March to personally chop apart the 18-inch thick ice, with some even suggesting the Capital Campaign fund (which is less than $30,000 away from the $100,000 needed to purchase a new fleet of boats), should instead go toward space heaters and fireworks to help along the melting process.

10001385_10203446367349097_389987139_nWhile the rest of the team played with pickaxes, seven freshmen were fortunate enough to sail on the only open lake in the Midwest for the Freshman Icebreaker Regatta at Notre Dame. Determined to fulfill the legacy of excellence both on and off the water as established by their upperclassmen fore founders, the freshman dressed for success, looking dapper in the suits they will no doubt one day don as titans of business and industry. Some even took the plunge into Lake St. Joe’s after a successful race and came out baptized into a new sailing faith.

If Michigan sailors know one thing, it’s how to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. There is still time yet to salvage the season, and with temperatures reaching downright summery peaks of fifty-five degrees in Ann Arbor this week, this heat wave will likely make the lake sailable within the next two weeks, just in time for finals.


April 10th, 2014 by admin


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