We don’t run a lot of press releases and this is a bit off the radar, but it’s good for the sport and good for the chicks.
“This is an exciting announcement for many in the Cornell community, and I’d like to thank the loyal and generous alumni who have fully funded this move to varsity status, Noel said. “It is a requirement that any additional sports be fully funded before we are able to consider adding to our varsity roster. We are excited that our women sailors will have the opportunity to experience a varsity program.”
Cornell will continue to compete in the Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association which is governed by the Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA). Its varsity and club team competitors include schools such as Colgate, Columbia, Georgetown, Hobart and William Smith, Navy, Old Dominion, Princeton, Penn, St. Mary’s and Virginia.
Cornell becomes the 14th Division I school to offer women’s sailing as a varsity sport, a list that includes Ivy League competitors Dartmouth, Harvard and Yale. Other Division I programs with varsity sailing include Boston College, College of Charleston, George Washington, Georgetown, Hampton, Hawaii, Navy, Old Dominion, South Florida and Stanford.
The sailing team will continue to train out of the state-of-the-art Merrill Family Sailing Center, completed in 2009 and located at 1000 East Shore Drive on Cayuga Lake. The Merrill Family Sailing Center is widely considered one of the top facilities of its kind in the nation.
With the elevation of women’s sailing to the varsity level, Cornell will now sponsor 37 intercollegiate programs (18 for men, 19 for women). The number of varsity sports offerings is fourth among all schools around the country, trailing only Harvard (41), Brown (38) and Princeton (38). Both Ohio State and Stanford sponsor 36 varsity sports. Women’s sailing is the first addition to the varsity sports offering at Cornell since equestrian was elevated to varsity status prior to the 1995-96 school year.