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Sailing team closes out fall season, looks toward national championships in spring

November 3, 2023

Courtesy of Bowdoin Athletics
MAKING WAVES: The sailing team ended its fall season last weekend with a slate of regattas across New England, including the Atlantic Coast Championship. The team will return to the water in the spring.

The sailing team wrapped up its fall season last weekend after competing in regattas across New England. The women’s and open teams both qualified for the ACC Finals, and the team also finished 13th out of 18 teams at the Atlantic Coast Championship.

Head Coach Frank Pizzo has primarily been working on technical skills with the team.

“Most of the fall, we’ve spent a lot of time going back to the basics and really focusing on boat speed and the handling of the boats and all sorts of conditions,” Pizzo said. “We have to hit the ground running [in the spring], and I’m hoping that all the time we’ve spent this fall developing technique and boat speed will carry over.”

Timmy Gee ’25 added that the fall season has been critical to gaining experience as a team.

“We sailed a lot on the Charles River, and that’s where Nationals are going to be in the spring. We learned a lot about sailing that venue,” Gee said. “It’s more about [focusing] on just going with what you have at the moment.”

Pizzo emphasized the value of learning from fall regattas and experimenting with skipper-crew pairings in anticipation of the competitive spring season.

“We’ve been doing a lot of traveling and competing in a lot of events,” Pizzo said. “We’ve had some really good weekends … and then some other weekends where we’ve been learning and trying to get better.”

Despite having a younger team this year, Pizzo is confident in the ability of individual members to take on new roles ahead of national championships.

“We had to have some younger crews step up and learn a lot and get better,” Pizzo said. “We have some of our women skippers stepping into some new roles and they’re very talented…. I think they’re gaining their confidence in those positions but performed really well.”

Captain Christine Reimer ’24 has been focused on fostering cohesion between first years and more senior members of the team.

“[The fall] is a quick season, but it really feels like all the first years are really part of the team, and as a captain, I think that’s just one of my goals and I’m really proud of that,” she said.

While the fall is centered around fleet racing, the team transitions into more competitive team racing when it returns in the spring. Reimer said that team racing can be more aggressive than fleet racing and underscored the importance of having a strong team dynamic.

“This team aspect becomes even more important, and it’s also pretty technical. There’s a lot of little rules…. The team building stuff is really important to make sure that people are having good relationships with each other,” Reimer said. “It’s easier to be really competitive with someone that you are friends with and strongly respect than someone that you don’t really know.”

Gee emphasized the team’s commitment to the sport, especially from first years.

“Across the board, everybody’s not only excited for sailing, but really excited to be there and be at practice,” Gee said. “It’s all about putting time into the boat and putting time on the water.”

Reimer has high hopes for her last season with the team.

“For me, it’s [about] just doing the best I can, being competitive, but also just enjoying myself while I’m doing that. That’s really my goal and what I’m looking forward to: really enjoying this last stretch,” Reimer said.


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