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Staples Students Set Sail

Rain or shine, the Staples Sailing team continues to practice. | Photo by Suzanne Kleine ’11

Sammie Hardy ’11
Staff Writer

Rain or shine, the Staples Sailing team continues to practice. | Photo by Suzanne Kleine '11

On Mar. 15, the Staples Sailing team began a new season. With head coach Mark Jacobi working hard, captains Grace Lewis ’10 and Sebastian Hein ’10 are looking to improve their sailors to new levels.

“Personally, I’m most excited about getting the team outside of Fairfield County because by sailing other teams, we will all be able to become much stronger sailors,” Lewis said.

Last season the team was very successful. They were placed second in the county and did very well on the state level.

However, this season, the team lost some great sailors to college.

Along with captains Lewis and Hein, senior teammates include Tommy Hood ’10, Trevor Shippee ’10 and Venetia Stanley ’10.

“We have some new members and I have not gotten the chance to see them sail, but Jacobi is an awesome coach and I’m sure he will whip us into shape this winter,” Shippee said.

For most of the sailors, the only off–season is in the winter.

The sailors that did not  participate in any winter sports attended a personal work out twice a week at Westport’s Target Training.

As Shippee said, “Sailing team never really stops.”

During tryouts for the team, hopeful sailors are placed on Varsity (first or second string), or Junior Varsity, depending on their skill levels.

“We don’t turn any sailor away,” said Lewis.

Once the season starts, Jacobi gives the teams an intensive work schedule

The team has practice three times a week, along with one regatta per week.

With lengthy practices from after school to at least 6 p.m., the team works on drills and practice racing to improve.

“Most of our sailors know how to deal with the issues that comes with sailing since many of us have been sailing for years,” Lewis said. “It’s second nature to us, no pun intended.”

For the sailors who have not had as much experience, Jacobi will work with the team on how to work with the different types of weather that affect sailing­­­—in particular, how to work with light and heavy air.

He teaches new sailors that air is categorized in “knots,” which  is a measure of wind force.  Light air is wind moving from one to three knots, while heavy air from 10 to 15 knots.

But while some team members are not as skilled as others, what they all have in common is a love for the sport  and for the water.

“I’m mostly excited to just get in the water- I haven’t sailed since the summer because I missed the fall season, I’m ready to get working,” Shippee said.

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