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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Stony Brook’s sailing team kicks off inaugural season

    Since 1989, the Roth Regatta has dominated the Stony Brook boat racing scene. Although fun, the long standing university tradition has not been enough for the avid boating fans.
    The 2011 fall semester marks the first time that Stony Brook University has put together an intercollegiate sailing team.
    “I was shocked there wasn’t a sailing program at SBU already, especially being so close to the water,” said sophomore Rachel Berger. “I love sailing and have been sailing my whole life- SBU was actually the only school I applied to without a sailing program.”
    It wasn’t until Rachel Berger met senior Lauren Maloney, the team president, that the idea of a sailboat race team became realistic.
    Maloney, Berger and a handful of other students worked hard to get the team’s inaugural season off the ground.
    “Slowly we have worked our way up to becoming recognized as a student club on campus, to getting a USG budget, to getting our own boats, and finally competing in our first regatta!” said Berger. “It has all been very exciting, and now there are so many more people interested in sailing- over 120 people signed up for our email list at the last Involvement Fair.”
    And for the first time on Saturday, Oct. 8, the team competed in its first ever race in the Intercollegiate Keelboat Regatta hosted by the Larchmont Yacht Club.
    The team’s vice president, Berger, led a small group of five people, including sophomore Zachary Kyritsis, to help crew the 34-foot racing yacht “Synergy”.
    “It’s the largest intercollegiate sailing event, there were about 50 teams from about 40 different schools,” said Zach. “I think it was pretty cool that in our new team’s first event we were competing with all of the service academies, many of which have dedicated varsity offshore sailing teams.”
    Competing against schools such as SUNY Maritime, Yale and Columbia, Stony Brook showed few jitters holding their own in the two days of racing.
    Since then, the team has already put together a plan for its own race as the University will host the first ever “Stony Brook Cup” on Nov. 29 in either Setauket or Port Jefferson harbor depending on weather conditions.
    Faculty advisor Jason Rose hopes that the Cup will become a long standing tradition for the team and the school.
    As the sport begins to take off at Stony Brook, Rose does not forget the people who helped get the team on its feet.
    “Rob Crafa, the head of the SUNY Maritime Sailing Team helped us with advice and even invited our team to see their operations over the summer, said Rose. “So it’s nice that our sister school in the SUNY system has been helping us out.  We all have a great affection for our sister school in SUNY for their tremendous help.”
    With more than 25 active members, the sailing team at Stony Brook has become more than idea.
    Maloney and the rest of the team have set up a legitimate team sport and have even bigger plans for the future.
    “We hope to receive USG funding this semester as everything is dependent on that,” said Maloney. “We already have two sailboats, as well as a motor boat. We plan on starting practices on the water in the spring, as well as competing in a couple intercollegiate small boat and big boat races.”
    If students are interested in joining Stony Brook’s newest intercollegiate sport, the team will be holding a meeting on Oct.24 in room 247 of the Stony Brook Union.
    First time sailors are always welcome and encouraged to join in on the fun experience.

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