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Spotlight on College Sailing: Auburn University

Published on August 22nd, 2016

By Jennifer Mitchell, Sailing World
Alabama’s Auburn University Sailing Club is a highly organized group of sailors and they know exactly how to get the most out of every minute they spent on the water. The distinction they make between the racing and recreational sides of the club is unique.

The team sails out of the Dixie Sailing Club on Lake Martin, an hour from campus. The long drive forces the sailors to plan their practices and events carefully, as they typically spend most of the day out on the lake.

“Over the past 20 years or so, we have welcomed the Auburn University Sailing Club (AUSC) as collegiate members,” says Jim Simons, president of the Dixie Sailing Club Youth Program. “The AUSC participates in our club races, helps with work parties, and supports our youth program.”

In the past two years, the AUSC has gone from not having a 420 fleet to owning eight 420s and a coach boat. The club also owns a few Catalinas, a Super Sunfish and a Cape Dory Typhoon. “Our racing program focuses on collegiate regattas and practices, while our club side is for more casual sailors,” says club commodore Brent DeAngelis. “The racing side utilizes the 420 fleet and the chase boat, while the casual side typically involves daysailing to a nearby island.”

The racing team participates in approximately nine regattas per year. “Hopefully we’ll have more in the future as we add invitational regattas and women’s events to our schedule,” DeAngelis says. “When it comes to sailors who go to regattas, we look for the dedicated ones. The individuals who have shown a commitment are rewarded.”

The club encourages its members to be active but does not have any physical fitness or sailing requirements in place. “We exist to promote and encourage sailing at the university, and thus strive to be a very inclusive club,” says DeAngelis. “With this, we do not mandate our members to achieve a certain number of practices or workouts. Our motto is ‘You get out what you put in.’”

Auburn students have run the team for a long time, but next year, graduating commodore DeAngelis is planning to help coach the team. “We are very excited to have this opportunity to have a coach,” says Jonathan Ashworth, team president. “Practices are key, and a coach adds much-needed structure and stability in this area.” – Full Story

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