Most recently, Wellesley hosted the Linda Juliano Girls’ Tournament — a competitive race for women sailors — in which the team placed second. Photo courtesy of Fiona Zhou ’24.

With spring sports getting into full swing, the sailing team has kicked off their season with momentum and optimism. The team, which competes in the Mass Bay Sailing League (MBL), recently won the Sharon Invitational Fleet Race and placed as the runner-up in the Milton Academy JV Fleet Race – currently leading the league.

“The beginning of the season is cold and busy and stressful,” said Professor Laurence Lovett, the coach of the sailing team. “But when we get into it, it’s a lot of fun.”

To prepare for team races and regattas, the team practices nearly every day that there is good weather at  Lake Cochituate. As a part of a larger organization – the New England Schools Sailing Association – the team also sails with teams outside of the MBL, sometimes hailing from Maine and Rhode Island. 

“It’s a great group. And they do coalesce quite quickly into a good working team,” said Lovett. “That’s really important in team racing, but it’s also important to me and to the sailors. It’s what the athletic department aims for.”

Despite a team of only 26 sailors this season, compared to previous years with well over thirty, the more tight-knit dynamic this year has all the more enriched practices and races. Still, team turnout at some points ultimately makes or breaks its overall success.

“It’s a little easier, you might say, to make sure everybody’s involved and included,” said Lovett. “But it’s a little tougher on days when someone might be missing. It does set us back a bit.”

Held up by inclement weather leading into the competitive season, the team is now attempting to recover its momentum, with the goal to win the Mass Bay League and make it to the NESSA State Championships.

“I feel like the team is pretty close because it’s smaller,” said Nina Lowe ’25, who has been a part of the sailing team since freshman year. “We just started ramping up in our season so we have races a lot more frequently, but it’s okay because the weather is finally getting bearable.”

“We haven’t been on the water as much as we’d like to. Part of our preseason is helping coach up the new sailors, get them up to snuff, up to speed,” Lovett said. “I use my veteran sailors to help do that. Because of that, and because of the fewer days that we had on the water due to the weather, we didn’t have a chance to sail together as much as I’d have liked.”

For the good bonding experience and pep, the sailors hold team dinners at each others’ houses weekly, before every meet. Making up for any hurdles along the way, they believe that their efforts in the practices they’ve had so far are auguring well for the rest of the season. 

“We’ll put experienced crews in with new skippers, and have them tell the new people what to do,” said Lowe. “The goal is to win states, and beat Sharon High School.”

The teammates invest trust in well-seasoned sailors to lead one another to victories. They will be competing in the Mass Bay League Championship, which will be hosted by Sharon High School on May 11.

“We’re on track to go to the championships this year,” said Lovett. “Our top skippers were with us last year, and this year, they returned. So there’s not as big a turnover, which always leads to having a good team and a good season.”

In addition to fostering good sportsmanship, the team is focusing on training new members, ensuring a seamless trade-off from season to season to secure their success.

“We want to bring up our new people, our underclass, bring them up so that we can continue,” said Lovett.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *