Top Sails

For the fifth time in history, the College is the top sailing program in the country. In June, the Cougars were awarded the Leonard M. Fowle Trophy, which recognizes the best overall collegiate sailing team based on its performance in six sailing events held throughout the fall and spring seasons. This includes the Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA)/APS Team Race National Championship, which the Cougars won in 2012 for the first time in school history.

“That was a huge accomplishment,” says Ward Cromwell, head coach of the sailing team, noting that the team race was the only one of the six events that the College hadn’t yet won.

In early June, the College captured the team championship on Lake Travis in Austin, Texas, and placed fourth over the next three days while competing in the ICSA/Gill Coed Dinghy National Championship. Those strong showings, coupled with impressive results from earlier in the season in men’s and women’s singlehanded and women’s dinghy, put the Cougars on top and laid their claim to the Fowle Trophy.

According to Cromwell, the goal for the sailing team each year is to qualify for the championships and for each sailor to perform to the best of his and her ability. The Cougars accomplished that in 2011–12 by “practicing the right way, learning to work together and not taking anything for granted.” After that was done, he says, you sit back “and hope the number crunching works in your favor.”

The team benefited from five sailors who were named ICSA All-Americans: Mac Mace, Ben Spector, Zeke Horowitz, Alyssa Aitken ’12 and Perry Emsiek ’12. With Mace (who was also one of four finalists for College Sailor of the Year) and Spector returning this year as seniors – along with Olympian Juani Maegli and other standout sailors – Cromwell is counting on making another run for the Fowle Trophy, which the College also won in 1986, 1988, 1998 and 2007.

“We’re really excited about this season,” says Cromwell. “I like our chances.”

– Photos courtesy of Greg Fisher