Mats Experience the Thrills of Sailing

Mats Experience the Thrills of Sailing

A few maritime Matadors hit the water for a weekend regatta in Southern California.

Karmi Chan, News Editor

Watching the sunset over the horizon and feeling the light breeze of fresh salty air are some of the many perks of sailing. A few Miramonte students experience this joy frequently by sailing through the Encinal Yacht Club in Alameda. Miramonte sailors include Sydney Livingston ‘13, Caroline Colwell ‘14, Guy Raber ‘14, Molly Colwell ‘16 and Lucy Wilmot ‘16.

Practicing about once a week in the Alameda Estuary, these sailors love the thrill and exhilaration of the sport. Although it’s tough for these students to train as rigorously as they would like, as most of their time is taken up with school and homework, they continue to stay dedicated to the sport.

During summer, more time is allocated for practices, and training is increased to about four days a week, which helps these sailors improve immensely. An average day at practice includes working on basic boat mechanics.

“I love how sailing is both a physical and a mental sport,” Wilmot said.

A few of these sailors became involved in the sport because of their fathers. Both Livingston and Wilmot were introduced to sailing through their dads.

“Sailing is a tradition of my dad’s whole side of the family,” Livingston said. “It was a big part of my dad’s life, so I thought it would be fun.”

Over the past two years Miramonte’s sailors have been progressively building themselves up. They have recently started to see an enormous amount of success, as all of their hard efforts have paid off in recent races.

Sailors participate in competitions called regattas. On weekends, these regattas start at around 10 a.m. and last until 4 p.m. The team travels all over California, everywhere from San Diego to the Bay.

During these competitions, Miramonte students compete under Miramonte’s name. Although not directly affiliated with the school, this sailing team represents Miramonte.

The regatta consists of multiple races in which students compete against each other in teams of two. In high school and collegiate sailing, students compete in 13-foot boats called Flying Juniors. To begin a race, all boats are lined up and take off after the blast of a horn. Differing from practices, coaches can’t advise their sailors during the race. “It’s all about the sailor’s decision making,” Livingston said.

Sailing regattas are a great way to interact with other sailors around California and make new friends. Miramonte students compete at a high level and work to place at every regatta.

Competing in the Pacific Coast Interscholastic Sailing Association(PCISA), Miramonte races against teams such as Newport and Point Loma. The team is steadily improving this year and after placing 3rd in Newport, Miramonte was moved up to the more competitive Gold Fleet.

The Miramonte sailing team is now ranked second in Northern California after placing right behind Branson High School at the Rose Bowl Regatta in Long Beach on Jan. 5-6.

“We are younger and less experienced than most other teams, but we definitely don’t let that stop us,” Raber said.

Miramonte’s sailors are very proud of their ranking and are working hard to continue to improve. They have fallen in love with the sport and are passionate about it.

“My favorite part of sailing is feeling my hair blowing behind me in the wind while my muscular body shines in the sun for all to see,” Raber said.