Students at the helm
High School sailing is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States. The high school currently has a sailing club sport. It is held at Hoover sailing club and has 13 schools in Central Ohio that participate.
“I would recommend high school sailing to students because it is a very distinct water sport that gives you experiences and challenges that not all sports can give a player.” junior Abby Headlee said.
At a typical high school regatta, there is A fleet and B fleet. The two fleets switch on and off the water throughout the day and each sail two races each time they are on the water. At the end of the day, the scores are calculated and awards are held where the top sailing teams win awards.
“We have everything from Olympic hopefuls to sailors just getting started, and every skill level in between. It’s school vs. school much like most high school sporting events, but at the end of the day, most of the sailors know each other and are friends on and off the water. The comradery between sailors is something you wouldn’t see in any other sport.” full time coach, Jamie Jones, said.
Unlike most high school sports, there is not a minimum requirement of knowledge needed to join a team. Tryouts are non-existent in high school sailing. The team is open to everyone.
“High school sailing is all inclusive: there’s learning opportunities all year long. We open our boats up to first time sailors and experienced seamen alike! It’s a very relaxed learning environment. All of the boats are provided by Hoover Sailing Club, we have top notch support from our parent group, twio full time coaches and we have a ton of fun!” Jones said.
Just as unique it is to be open to anyone, it is a co-ed sport. Boys and girls race together, practice together and all compete at one time.
“High school Sailing is a co-ed sport (one of a very few offered) where boys and girls can compete on a level playing field, it’s not about who’s stronger/bigger/faster, it’s a “who’s smarter, more tactical, more skilled at their positions,” Jones said.
Just as any other high school sport, there are winners. Each boat is scored individually. Both A and B fleet have first, second and third place and there is also first, second and third for overall when the teams scores are put together. Each school has at least one A fleet and one B fleet. This fall season, the final regatta was held at Hoover Sailing Club where the Buckeye Cup was awarded. The Buckeye Cup is where all the points from the entire season are scored together to get an overall winner of the season.
“My skipper and I sailed in a fleet with my younger brother Clay Headlee all season. The Orange varsity team that we raced for got second in the Buckeye cup and we lost by one point.” Headlee said.
High school sailing is a great opportunity for students. It welcomes everyone with any background of experience on the water. It can lead students to great challenges and discoveries throughout the season.