Thursday, December 8, 2011

College Fall Season is Over… So What do we do now?

By: Kelly Stannard

The season has been wrapped up for just over three weeks and college sailors are now preparing for Finals. What in the world do we do with our extra time?

I reached out to some fellow college sailors from programs around the country to get a feel for what teams do after the season is over. I got the chance to talk to team members from College of Charleston, Hawaii, Yale, Vermont, Brown, Georgetown, Boston College, Wisconsin, Oregon, and Stanford. As it turns out, our offseason schedules are similar. Yes, we do have our team meetings and training. However, we get the opportunity to catch up with friends, prepare for Finals, relax and recuperate, and do some personal sailing. Each team has their own little twist. So I asked these sailors what they do during the offseason? Here is the scoop from a handful of sailors representing various college sailing programs around the county.

College of Charleston
– Mac Mace (Senior / Newport Beach, Calif.)
No more scheduled practices, no more early morning workouts. We are left with ample time to do school work and spend time with the friends that we don’t see during the season.

We try to get some team members together to do our own workouts in the offseason. These workouts consist of riding the bike, lifting weights, playing pick-up basketball, squash, going for a run, beach soccer and of course some highly competitive games of four square.

Hawaii - Bree Nidds (Junior / Lenoir, N.C.)
We have a team bonding trip planned where the team will be kayaking out to a local spot called the “Chinaman's Hat”.  We plan to have challenges out on the water between skippers and crews. When we reach the island, we hike to the top and take our team photo.

We have team workouts that are voluntary. Staying active and in shape is definitely promoted during the season and the offseason.

Yale - Joe Morris (Senior / Annapolis, Md.)
Once our season wraps up we have a bit of time off. Finals tend to be a really hectic period for us, just like everywhere else, so we try not to put too much stress on everyone immediately after the season.

The team racers, along with anyone else who want to participate, often meet on their own to informally talk things over and watch video. We've found it's very useful to have the upperclassmen teaching the newer sailors over the winter.

Vermont - Sara Anibal (Sophomore / Greenwich, Conn.)
We are responsible to go to the gym on our own or with someone else on the team at least twice a week. The team put our boats away on the last day of practice, so we don’t get the chance to go out and get some extra practice after our last weekend. When the lake thaws in the spring, we can start our practices.

Brown - Colin Smith (Junior / Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)
We don't have any official scheduled workouts during the season and we don't have anything in the winter. Everyone continues to work out on our own, although we do have an intramural hockey team.

A few of us are headed to Florida to do Vanguard 15 Midwinters, so we will get a good few days of fun sailing during the off season. Everyone usually tries to do some personal sailing over the winter break.

Georgetown - Peter Johns (Senior / Osterville, Mass.)
Our off-season has been filled with both sailing-related and non-sailing activities. We have continued our weekly workouts with our varsity weight coaches, and many of us have supplemented these workouts with cross-training during our free time, ranging from squash to swimming and everything in between.

We will be starting team meetings led by captains upon our return to campus in January; they will focus largely on team racing, including specifics on plays and boat handling.

Boston College - Annie Haeger (Senior / Lake Forest, Ill.)
Every week we have three weight lifting requirements and in the spring, we have team lifts. We also have weekly meetings where we try to get a head start into the team race season. We talk about different plays and strategy. The offseason is also great team bonding time, so bowling is always amusing.

Wisconsin - George Kutschenreuter (Sophomore / East Troy, Wis.)
Right before our last regatta, usually near thanksgiving, the entire team takes the docks out of the water and stores the boats for the winter during practice time. At this point in the year, Lake Mendota could begin to freeze any day. The team gets no outside assistance with this process. It is an exceptional workout and bonding experience for all of us.

Oregon - Philip Gordon (Senior / Missoula, Mont.)
Winter term sailing schedule is pretty relaxed for us until the beginning of February. We have weekly team meetings to watch videos and discuss team racing. This is a time for us to introduce plays to newer members.

Most of the members use winter term to spend more time on class, taking more classes or harder classes than they would in the fall or spring.

Stanford - Mateo Vargos (Sophomore / Treasure Island, Fla.)
We continue to have workouts with our trainers on Tuesday and Thursday mornings before class, and these remain mandatory until the spring season officially starts.

The team definitely does relax a bit more when time allows and I know myself and a few of the other guys often go surfing when would usually be practicing.

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