With the introduction of a dedicated Women's Team, NC State and the SailPack will have yet more competitive sailors on the water in red and black. For the first time in recorded NC State sailing history there has been enough interest and organization to form a women’s team. The group consists of a core of women experienced in the Coed Racing circuit, joined by an eager group of lady sailors new to NC State and college sailing.
Commodore of the Sailing Club at NC State, Dustin Simons, said, “This is a positive step for the NC State sailing community because it encourages young women to explore racing and develop sailing skills that they might not have gained before in a completely coed program." Simons continued, "SailPack women show that men hold no advantage in sailing and it is by no means a male dominated sport. It is great to see NCSU female sailors out there representing our school and program.”
The 2013 Fall semester includes two dedicated SAISA Women’s Sailing Events. The first was a women's clinic held Saturday, September 29th hosted by College of Charleston in windy, tidal Charleston harbor. NC State sent four female sailors to participate in group boat-handling drills, practice starts, and on-the-water coaching to improve their performance. Following the clinic, the College of Charleston Cougars hosted a women's regatta in their fleet of 420s. NC State women placed 2nd out of five schools, delivering a strong SAISA debut for the young team. A special thank you goes out to SailPack Foundation Vice-Chair Patrick Rogers and veteran college sailor Laura Doupnik for coming out to support the ladies and offer valuable coaching during the clinic and regatta.
The second scheduled event for the Women's Team is the upcoming SAISA Women’s Dinghy Champs on October 6th, hosted once again by College of Charleston. Having qualified for this event from our placement in the first regatta, NC State will send four sailors, two alternates, and a few spectators down to Charleston to once again make the Wolfpack proud.
"The women's team has had a great start. They've seen where their enthusiasm and initiative have paid off with a good debut at their first regatta," said volunteer coach Dana Magliola. "I'm confident that they'll continue to develop, improve and remain competitive in SAISA. Having a successful women's team will be important to the overall development of the sailing program at NC State."
In order to prepare for the events, the Women’s Team has held several dedicated practices on our home facility at Lake Wheeler. Members of the Women's Team remain involved in the coed team where they continue to race as crew and skippers, but they show an extra bit of commitment by organizing and having their own practice weekly. For female sailors to be a part of the Women's Team, they must attend at least one coed practice on the water, and our weekly dry-practice classroom session.
If you are interested in getting involved with the Women's Team, contact us for more information. We welcome ladies of all skill levels with a commitment to growing NC State's strong presence in the college sailing community. Otherwise, tune in to our Facebook page or Twitter to get up-to-date scores from this weekend's regatta, pictures and news about the sailing program at NC State.
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About the Author:
Nikki Palen is a junior at NC State studying biological engineering. She is originally from Greensboro, NC. Nikki enters the 2013 Fall semester with two years of participation as a part of the NC State coed sailing squad. She has been a driving force behind organizing the Women's Team where she sails as B-fleet skipper while also continuing to race with the coed team as crew in both A and B fleets.