Saint Mary’s sailing prepares for season, talks recruitment
Katelyn Waldschmidt | Monday, September 11, 2023
Since the beginning of the semester, more and more talk of the Saint Mary’s sailing team has emerged. While not a new team, Saint Mary’s sailing is still growing its crew.
Makayla Perry is president of the College’s sailing club, but officially, her title is commodore.
“Commodore is basically the sailing equivalent of president so we’ve adopted that,” Perry said.
Perry explained that while Saint Mary’s students have been sailing for years, the club is relatively new.
“Originally, Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s sailing were combined. But in the late 2010s, the governing body for sailing decided that schools couldn’t combine and compete together,” Perry said. “It forced us to create our own team, but we still do everything together.”
Saint Mary’s sailing vice commodore Emmalyn Holmquist echoed the sentiment.
“We still stay really connected,” she said. “We practice together at the same time, we use their boats, we still consider ourselves a team. The only difference is when we go to regattas.”
Perry and Holmquist both talked about how easy it is for anyone to join the sailing team, even if they have no experience.
“The great thing about sailing is a lot of people think, ‘I’ve never sailed, I’ve never had much experience on boats. Am I still able to do it?’ and the answer is, ‘Yes.’ We will take anyone who wants to try,” Perry said. “There are precautions like life jackets and life guards and you’ll always start out with someone who’s more experienced than you.”
Perry said that some of team’s practice captains are Notre Dame students.
“They’ve been sailing their whole lives so they run practice, but we teach you everything you need to know like racing theory, boat handling, anything,” Perry said.
Holmquist herself only started this past school year.
“My dad had a sailboat, but I’d never sailed competitively. I also rowed for four years in high school and I wanted to get back on the water, sailing was the closest thing,” Holmquist said. “I joined the team this spring and I’d never sailed before. Then this summer, I just did it on my own and now I’ve come back this fall as vice commodore and am really excited for it.”
Holmquist said one of her favorites parts of the team is the dinners the team shares after practice.
Outside of sailing, Perry added that she enjoys the bonding events as well.
“We have bowling nights which can get pretty competitive but are super fun,” Perry said. “We had a few movie nights before and we have a formal in the spring that I look forward to.”
Though the bowling nights can get quite competitive, sailing can or cannot be depending on personal preference, according to Holmquist.
“You can come just for fun, you could even come once a month,” Homquist said. “It’s very chill or you could come to be competitive. We kind of encourage both.”
Perry reiterated Homquist’s stance about the team’s competitiveness.
“We’re not super competitive but if you want to be, by all means show up and really get into it,” she said. “But it’s pretty low commitment. We tell everyone to come when you can.”
However, Perry said one’s time commitment may dictate their chances of being able to attend competitions.
“If you are able to commit more time, you’re likely to improve your skills and you’ll probably have a better chance at going to a regatta,” Perry said.
The team has a few competitions already lined up for October. Practices have already started, but Holmquist said that anyone is still welcome to join.
“I’d say if you’re interested at all, it’s worth a try,” Homquist said. “There’s no deadline or anything that anybody’s missed. You can sign up at any time.”