Sailing with the breeze

David Gisser


By David Gisser

Flying over waves on a blue lake on a breezy summer day may seem difficult to imagine, but to sailors this is a very familiar experience.

Sarah Shelby ’13 discovered sailing at Four Winds camp in the Orca Island in Washington State.

“I just wanted one more camp experience before I went to high school, so I applied as a camper, but then sailing just became an extra part of that,” Shelby said.

While sailing in Washington, Shelby found that “directly controlling [a sailboat] that takes you through the water is really liberating.”

“It is something special to be able to control something that takes you[…]when you think about transportation you think of cars or bicycles, but sailing is something really special,” Shelby said.

Michael Gromis ’13 sails competitively every summer at a month-long summer camp in Wisconsin. Sailing is a team sport where camps face off at regattas.

“You have to be extremely technical and precise because you have to make use of all of the wind you can get when there are 70 other boats,” Gromis said.

“I sail because it is just a really fun thing to do. It’s exciting and there is just nothing like it, and I don’t have a lot of opportunities to do it throughout the year,” Gromis said.

“One of the great things about it is something called hiking[…]it causes your boat to start tilting and you kind of have to ride it down. It is a really great feeling because you are going really fast and you feel almost like you are flying because your boat is coming out of the water a little bit,” Gromis said.

Gromis added, “I think more people need to be exposed to it because anybody who will try it will have a really exciting time and get hooked.”