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Summer 2009 by Peter Beardsley '01 - Alumni Coordinator You may be wondering why you haven't received this newsletter over the past 5 years. While "The Amherst Sailor" was on hiatus, the "Amherst Sailors" have been chugging along in continuous existence just without newsletters. Over the past 5 years you've missed over 100 regattas and 50 parties, plus the sale of eight of the team's 420s, which are now ten shiny FJs better suited for Lake Arcadia, plus the arrival of Coach Stan Schreyer. Stan was a two-time college All American who won College Sailing Nationals at Boston University his senior year and was named ICSA Sportsman of the Year. The team is very fortunate to have him in the Northampton area when he's not traveling the world as a professional sailor. Amherst Sailing is on the upswing and hopes to be better correspondents going forward.



You are cordially invited to attend our Alumni Regatta on Sunday, October 25, 2009. Competitors' Meeting: 11:00 AM The number of races will depend on wind and weather. Lifejackets, drysuits and crews can be provided if needed. Come back and meet the current team, sail the boats and see the lake! Complimentary BBQ and beverages to follow. Over 15 alums already RSVPed! Please RSVP to [email protected]

by Lizzie Peabody `11 The Amherst Sailing Team has made impressive strides during the course of the last two semesters, and we're looking forward to another great year! With the help of our new coach, Stan Schreyer, our team is growing not only in numbers, but also in enthusiasm and in skill. This year we reduced the number of practice days from five to three, which has led to heightened practice attendance and a greater sense of unity on the team. It has helped us enormously to have Stan coaching most of our practices, and this spring we were often on the water from 3 until 6:30pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Though many of our sailors took up sailing for the first time when they arrived at college, we're proud to say that the team's learning curve has been steep. A couple of advanced sailors ran "newbie practices" in addition to regular practices on Fridays. These fearless newbies braved wind (yes! on Lake Arcadia!), countless capsizes, and even lightning, and most chose to compete in at least one regatta by the end of the season. As a whole, the team competed in a record number of regattas this year, among them the Buckeye Invitational at Ohio State University, and the Women's New England Championships at UVM. We competed every weekend (excepting the few weeks in spring before the lake had thawed), and usually participated in multiple competitions per weekend. We've come a long way in a year, but we have even higher expectations for the coming seasons. We climbed to 26th place in the NEISA rankings in 2008, and by the end of 2009 we hope to have broken the top 20. We have a strong women's team in the making, and we will definitely be entering more allwomen events in the coming year. As a team we now have more interest in traveling for regattas, we are considering participating in Chicago's Timme Angsten Regatta and the Sugar Bowl Regatta in New Orleans, if we can come up with enough money to fund the trips. And, although we have attended more regattas, we have yet to host one; next season we plan on hosting a Little Three event at Lake Arcadia.


THE TRIUMPHS OF THE AMHERST SAILING TEAM AT THE SOUTHERN SERIES 2 REGATTA by Alison Rogers `12 The Amherst Sailing Team had remarkable success at the recent Southern Series 2 regatta in which twenty colleges participated. On the weekend of March 28th and 29th the Amherst Sailing Team saw the best and worst sailing conditions Newport, Rhode Island, had to offer. The weather was ideal on Saturday but on Sunday the race course was covered in thick fog and rain. Upon arriving at Sail Newport, Salve Regina's sailing center, the team was filled with nervous excitement. We were unsure as to what the competition would be like. Could we really compete with teams that had already been practicing for weeks? We had only managed to sneak in one day of practice. The jitters were put to ease when A division skipper, Lizzie Peabody (Amherst `11) and crew, Alison Rogers (Mt. Holyoke '12) placed 5th out of 20 teams, in the first race. It was evident that although there had only been one day of practice, Lizzie and Alison were ready to harness their years of experience to prove to the collegiate sailing community that the Amherst team was once again a serious competitor. When the B division got out on the course, they followed in the footsteps of the A division by finishing 5th. This boat was skippered by Stephanie Dowling (Mt. Holyoke `12) and crewed by Scotty Thomson (UMass `11). Sunday, this dynamic duo switched positions. They were skilled enough to be able to read the current and shifty wind to seal the day with remarkable 1st and 4th place finishes. Saturday, four rotations were completed (eight races per division). The A division completed a very successful day, finishing 75% of the races in the top ten. The B division, too, had a very good day as Stephanie and Scotty began to get used to the rhythm of sailing together. The team could not have asked for better weather. The sun was out in full force, the temperature was a pleasant 55 degrees, and the wind was blowing between 510 knots from the northeast. Sunday, on the other hand, was foggy and rainy, with cool temperatures and a very shifty breeze between 4-7 knots that could not decide if it wanted to come out of the northeast or north. Scotty and Stephanie managed to pull out an amazing finish that day. With chattering teeth and no tell tails on their sails, they finished very strong in the last set of the regatta with a 1st place and a 4th place, the two best finishes the Amherst team saw that weekend. The Amherst Sailing Team finished the regatta in 10th out of 20 teams and ahead of many varsity teams including Coast Guard, Mass Maritime, and Maine Maritime. This was perhaps the Amherst Sailing Team's best regatta finish in over 5 years. The team has high hopes in store. Between the new coach, Stan Schreyer, and the team's renewed dedication, who knows how well we can do this coming season!

If you would like to contact the team, please email us at [email protected] or mail a letter to: AC 2054 Keefe Campus Center Amherst College Amherst, MA 01002-5000


Summer 2009

A SEASON IN SUMMARY by Eliza Braunstein `11 The 2008 fall season began in the usual fashion. A group of college kids, none too eager to return to classes, gathered at the lake in shorts and t-shirts to spend the afternoon sailing. The days were sunny, the weather warm; when the wind died we jumped off the boats for a refreshing swim. But slowly, as the season progressed, the weather grew colder. Bathing suits were replaced with dry suits and a oncewelcomed afternoon swim became known as the dreaded capsize. There were many exciting regattas last fall, from chilly days in New Hampshire to stormy (and windy!) days in Boston. Starting out this year as a team with many new sailors, many sailors abroad, and without a coach, our team nevertheless climbed in the NEISA rankings throughout the fall season to end up 26th out of over 40 teams. But our most notable accomplishment was hiring our new coach, Stan Schreyer. Fondly known as Coach Stanimal, he encourages all the members of our team to challenge themselves to become better sailors, and he provides us with the resources and knowledge to do so. This past spring, four of our sailors held their own in the competitive Women's New England Championship at UVM, the first women's event attended by our team in 8 years. Over Easter weekend, we sent a group of sailors to our first intersectional in 7 years. Although our results were impacted by stormy seas and bouts of seasickness, the experience ­ which included sailing on Lake Erie, driving all the way to Ohio and back, visiting Niagara Falls on the way there and driving home all night long so as not to miss Monday morning classes ­ was well worth it. More women's events and intersectionals are scheduled for the fall. The spring season brought sunshine and gusty winds on Lake Arcadia. So eager were we to sail, we began the season while there was still snow on the ground. Through the inevitable mid-March capsizes into icy water and the post-practice chalk talks that took place after late afternoon shadows succumbed to darkness, our team strengthened in dedication, cooperation, and the desire to become better sailors. We look forward to the coming season.


Summer 2009

by Peter Beardsley '01 - Alumni Coordinator With so many schools and so little water, sailors from the 5-College Area have always been in the same metaphorical boat. All of the teams suffered from low levels of funding and occasional periods of inactivity as key sailors graduated. Starting in the late 1990s, the Amherst team started sharing resources with other 5-College sailors and allowed them to race with Amherst when their teams were inactive. As the Mt. Holyoke Sailing Team grew in the early 2000s, the teams were able to pool resources to chip in for a larger fleet of boats (with 6 FJs being owned by Amherst and 4 by Mt. Holyoke) and pool funds to pay a coach. The relationship has extended to the point where Mt. Holyoke, Smith and UMass sailors now compete with Amherst sailors in the same boat at certain regattas. This partnership has resulted in a larger, more stable college sailing community in the Pioneer Valley, though the teams still exist independently at each college. For more information, please visit the 5-College Sailing website at


by Eliza Braunstein `11 While Hurricane Bill, Tropical Storm Danny and President Obama were making their way to Martha's Vineyard last week, so was the Amherst Sailing Team. Nine sailors spent the week roll-tacking and jibing across the lagoon to prepare for the fall season, cooking "gourmet" dinners, and toasting s'mores (and in some cases, our toes) around nightly bonfires. While most days brought moderate and shifty winds, an incoming front mid-week kept sailors hiking for most of the day as we splashed through the waves to come home drenched, bruised and happy. It was a preseason to remember, as we begin the fall season with wicked lifejacket tans and fond memories of our new "mascot," Yogi the dog. Many thanks to Coaches Andrew and Rex of Sail Martha's Vineyard and to Ellen and James Rogers, who were kind enough to open up their house to our team.


Summer 2009

****************************************************** CREATED BY: THE AMHERST SAILING TEAM

The Amherst Sailor is for Amherst College Alumni who either sailed during college or who have an interest in the sport of sailing. If you do not wish to receive this newsletter going forward, please contact Peter Beardsley '01 at [email protected]


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