Creating a culture for continued success

Published on September 15th, 2022

The Tulane sailing team is a team to look out for this school year. This is arguably one of their best seasons since becoming a varsity sport in 2018 at Tulane, and the reigning National Champions are looking to secure their second consecutive trophy after an unforgettable season last year.

The program is led by a number of captains including seniors Ciara Rodriguez-Horan and Quinn Keenan, juniors Mia Hanes and Gillian Perrell and sophomore Zander King. Starting at the end of September, the teams will compete almost every weekend both on Saturdays and Sundays through early June.

While the teams mainly travel to the Northeast to compete against some of their biggest rivals, such as at Yale University and other schools in the Ivy League, the team’s home regattas are held on Lake Pontchartrain at the Community Sailing Center.

“Because we are in the South, we have the luxury of practicing and competing early February, which gives us more time to prepare than our other competitors located in the Northeast,” said junior crew member Andrea Riefkohl-Gonzalez.

Last May, Tulane sailing took down their biggest competitors, the Yale Bulldogs, to win the National Sailing Championship at home on Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans, LA.

“The National Championship regatta was our best regatta of the season, but we braced tough speed bumps to get the win,” noted Riefkohl-Gonzalez. “Although it was on our home waters, unexpected wind patterns shifted our game-plans, which took away our ‘home-court’ advantage.

“We embraced the challenges and were able to defeat all of the teams including one of our biggest competitors, Yale, to take home the trophy. It was an overwhelming experience, and our goal for this season is to do it again.”

Rodriguez-Horan added, “My freshman year was the team’s first year being varsity. I have seen the team grow exponentially, and last year was the first time I considered the team a family. We pushed each other really hard and put in more work as a team than I’ve ever seen before. In my opinion, that’s why we won.

“I’m excited for what this next year will bring and hope we can push just as hard. Our goal for this season is to continue building a strong program and to keep creating a culture that will be successful for years to come.”

Source: The Tulane Hullabaloo

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