Why Kids Should Be Going To College

Published on January 22nd, 2014

Sailing is not immune to the heightening trends in competitive sport, where today’s elite High School athletes are more likely to select a college based on its team rather than its academic options, or where they might desire to live post-college.

It’s safe to say that the members of the University of California San Diego sailing team were not affected by this trend. As one of the elite universities in the USA, they compete in one of the weaker college racing districts. They attend UCSD for academics… there are a lot of scientists, doctors, and engineers that exit the institution. But sailing in San Diego is pretty good too.

What the UCSD team lacks in regatta accomplishments, they make up in passion, which is arguably a bigger award. Here is an event – Jeff Simon Memorial – the team will host on Jan. 25-26 in San Diego, CA…

Jeff Simon was co-captain of the UCSD sailing team from 2006-2007 and passed away from cancer in July of 2007 at the age of 22. Most of you probably were never fortunate enough to meet Jeff, but you probably know someone like him.

That person who comes up with all the great quotes on your team. The person who wakes up way too cheerfully after a long night, gets all the freshman up and is yelling “get in the van!”- all the while making you laugh and like him even more. The guy who teaches you everything you know about sailing and makes you want to be just like him. Jeff had two favorite quotes – “a flat boat is a fast boat” and “make it fun”. He lived by the second quote.

Jeff was everything that a college sailor should be – a leader, a mentor and a teacher. He was taken from us much too soon, but as a team we have made an effort to remember him. The Jeff Simon Memorial Regatta has not only served to make sure Jeff is not forgotten, but also is an effort to bring together the collegiate sailing community.

The team has transformed the opening event of the Pacific Coast College Sailing Conference spring season into a fundraiser, with all the proceeds going to the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. Seems like a pretty good example for why kids should be going to college!

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