Catching the wind with competitive sailing


Who knew students here in our very own school sailed boats for sport? Competitive sailing is much like track, two or more boats race around a course and the first one to reach the finish line wins.

Graduated student Derek William continued onto St Mary’s college and started competitive sailing at the school. William started competitively sailing the summer before his junior year of college, “I sailed small boats when I was 13 or 14 but didn’t pick it up again and switch to kneel boats until 2019.”

According to William, the most enjoyable part of sailing is the people and the experiences. “Your competitors are a lot of times close friends and if you’ve never met them before, on land, they are always the nicest and most helpful people around,” William says “I’ve never been in a sport where my competitors have offered to help me so much.”

William also adds that the sport takes a lot of mental and physical energy spent. “The knowledge to race, let alone sail, effectively can be a lot to learn for somebody new,” he explains, “how you sail and what decisions you make depends on what the wind is doing, what boats around you are doing, and what you want to be doing. With all of that occupying your mind can be a very hard thing to do, it’s a lot of multitasking.”

However, William is not the only NHHS student who participates in this sport. Sophomore Brooke Bogdan started sailing when she was only five years old and started racing at seven. Bogdon’s last competition was a Frostbite, but Bogdon says that she would be participating in highschool sailing if it wasn’t for Covid. “Frostbite consists of a once a weekly competition on Saturdays,” she explains “420s, lasers, and F Jays are all allowed to compete in this regatta where your total of all your races are added up and who ever has the lowest score in your class would win.”

Bogdon says she would have competed this season, “the last regatta I have attended would be the frostbite, but it isn’t competed yet.” During her 2 years of sailing lasers, Bogdon says that the best placing she has gotten is third overall. Bogdon’s meaning of sailing is “racing other boats but it’s not just about that,” she explains “it’s also about racing yourself.” According to Bogdon, once started, sailing is a sport you can never stop.