Miramonte Sailing Team Takes Off to the Races

Tamar McCollom

For years, the the Miramonte Sailing Team has existed unbeknownst to most students. However, the 2010-2011 season marks the first year that they have enough sailors to compete as a full team in Pacific Coast Interschool Sailing Association competitions.

Now with six members, the sailing team is looking to become a force to be reckoned with in the Bay Area. Previously, the team competed as a split team, which means that they only had two eligible teammates, and thus had to compete in conjunction with other schools in the same situation.

“It’s really exciting this year because we have so many people on the team. We did well my sophomore year, but it was only me and my sister,” said Captain Kirsten Rutledge ‘11.

The sailing team competes in Club Flying Junior Boats, which hold two people the skipper and the crew. The skipper is in command of the boat and steers the main sail. The crew sits towards the front of the boat and navigates by steering the jib.

The sailing team competes in two-day long regattas up and down California, and occasionally they can be sailing up to six hours a day. On the first day of racing, all 20 boats in a fleet set sail, and when they come in for the day, they are scored based on their placement. The goal is to receive the lowest score, meaning that the boat has come in eitherfirst or second consistently.

While Miramonte has never won an entire regatta, they led for the entire first day at the Redwood City regatta.

Interestingly, the sailing team has become quite the family affair. The team contains two pairs of siblings Meghan Colwell ‘12 and Caroline Colwell ‘14 and Sydney Livingston ‘13 and Will Livingston ‘14. Additionally, Kirsten Rutledge’s older sister, Jean Rutledge ‘09, also competed on the team while she attended Miramonte, and has since gone on to sail collegiately at UC Santa Cruz.

“Most of us come from sailing families. My dad sailed professionally, and he got me and my sisters into it when we were young,” said Meghan Colwell.

The  Sailing Team is run through the Encinal Yacht Club, which is where they practice and compete.

Many other high school teams, such as Bay Area powerhouses Acalanes High School and Alameda High School practice at Encinal as well.

While most people aren’t aware of sailing as a high school sport, it is fairly popular on the collegiate level.

“Most colleges have sailing teams, and I know I would definitely consider sailing in college,” said Meghan Colwell.

As the Sailing Team gains prominence in the Bay Area, they are interested in expanding the program.  Beginners are welcome to join, and all skill levels can compete.