Senior Spotlight on Sailing

This week’s senior spotlight shines on the skippers and crew of the sailing team! Whether at the tiller of a 420 or handling the jib of a FJ, Grace A., Mihika J. and Lily S. have had some great memories on the water. For Lily, the sailing team has been her “safest and happiest place” at GA since she arrived. And for her, it is not just about competing and seeing a GA boat cross the line first, but often it was the time off of the water whether in the bus traveling home after a cold day at a regatta or chilling on the dock under the sun. Like her classmates, she was looking forward to what had the potential to be the team’s most successful season to date. Lily cited her growth as a sailor due to “focus, determination, deep breaths, and endless support from my teammates and coaches.” Lily’s advice to the younger sailors on the team is “don’t sweat the small stuff” and, perhaps more importantly, “treasure the time you spend with your teammates. They are your biggest fans and best coaches, and the time you spend together is so, so special.” For Mihika, one of her favorite memories was being up in Brunswick, Maine for the Herreshoff finals -- not just that the team exceeded their expectations but remembering that it may have been their cheerleading routines practiced at the hotel that may have given them the extra lift. Like Lily, Mihika was looking forward to her final season and the anticipation and hopes that came with it. The sailing team  “gave Mihika another family, and taught her a lot about trust.” Her advice to the younger sailors on the team is to “not take any moment for granted. Make every practice and race like it’s your last because you never know if it will be.” With some new found time during distance learning, Mihika is trying out her culinary skills, she reports that she is “cooking, or at least I am trying to.” Grace has been competing on the team since she was in 8th grade and her favorite memory is of a “Super Saturday” when she was in Group X, the day was full of brutal conditions but she and the team got through it. Like Lily and Mihika, Grace was really looking forward to improving upon last year’s performance at the Herreshoffs. Being on the team has taught her the importance of team spirit -- that in order for the team to succeed, boat by boat, everyone has to be on the same page through constant and fast communication. And it is this togetherness and spirit that has allowed them to “work effectively together.” Grace’s advice to the younger sailors is to “not be afraid to ask for help. High school sailing is drastically different from club sailing, and even experienced sailors face a bit of a learning curve at the beginning. It can seem overwhelming. My advice would be to focus on the small things; on focusing on just getting better at one thing every time you go out. Other people on the team also want to help you, so don't be afraid to ask. Oftentimes your crew/skipper is the best coach you could have since they're in the boat with you, so don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it.”