University of Florida Sailing

two sailors practice on Lake Wauburg

At the University of Florida, the sailing team is a club team that practices at Lake Wauburg, a small lake about 15 minutes south of campus. Currently, the team owns 10 420s and three FJs, two types of boats typically used in intercollegiate competitions.

The team meets at Lake Wauburg to practice three times a week: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Unlike other colleges with varsity teams, the University of Florida’s team does not have an official coach, and instead, it relies on the knowledge and expertise of older sailors and alumni.

In addition, the team is open to sailors of all experience levels. On the team’s website, it says that the current sailors are willing to teach beginner sailors the art of the sport.

The club receives some financial support in the form of a budget from the University of Florida’s Division of Student Affairs, but for the team to be able to travel cross-country for numerous regattas per year, it must also hold fundraisers. These include letter drives, T-shirt sales, visits to boat shows and most importantly, the annual Alumni Regatta, held every spring.

The Alumni Regatta is held at Lake Wauburg and invites alumni to compete against the current UF sailors in fleet races. A barbeque and awards ceremony is held at the end of the day.

According to Sailing World’s college rankings, Roger Williams ranks as the No. 1 school for the co-ed division and Yale ranks as the No. 1 school for the women’s division. In the past year, the UF team has ranked No. 17 in co-ed, a noble feat for a club team.

The current Gator Sailing president is Caroline Wright, a senior from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. For more information on the UF team, visit www.ufsail.com.

two sailors roll the sails after they finish practice