UC students set sail with revitalized sailing club | New
Most University of Cincinnati (UC) students spend their Sundays sleeping, recovering from the night before, or catching up on homework that night. But, a dedicated group of about 15 students take advantage of their Sundays to get up early and hike to Cowan Lake. The cool water temperatures and the 57-minute drive didn’t deter these students. After all, water is the result of their true passion: sailing.
The UC Sailing Club was relaunched in 2020 under the leadership of current president Ethan Gallagher, a third year marketing student. His official title is Commodore, which comes from the Navy and describes a higher rank in the Navy. Gallagher has a long-standing passion for sailing, and the chance to share it with others has been his driving force in helping bring the club back.
âI knew I wanted to sail in college, and I had friends that I sailed with during the summers that went to UC, so I asked them and everyone was in it,â Gallagher said. “We met and got organized, got college approval, went to Wisconsin to the MCSA mid-winter conference to get league approval and we got together. faced off at Cowan Lake in one semester. “
After some small setbacks due to COVID, the Sailing Club is now back in force this semester. Their main focus, of course, is sailing, but Gallagher is keen to stress that the club is all about learning to sail, enjoying your craft, and bonding with the crew around you.
“We love to introduce new sailors to this sport,” said Gallagher. âIt’s a sport you can play the rest of your life, and enjoying the affordable college experience with virtually free instructors is a great opportunity for anyone looking to learn. “
The club’s educational advisor, Rachel Parks, echoes Gallagher’s sentiment.
âI think it’s absolutely helpful to provide an organization for students who have a sailing background and bring them together with students who have no experience but want to learn something new,â Parks said.
The club’s most constant training is its Sundays at Cowan Lake. Gallagher points out that the hour’s drive is well worth it for the UC Sailing Club.
âIt’s a hike, but well worth it. They have a great community of sailors there and really welcome us,â said Gallagher. “We are sailing on their two-person boats called 420, and they are always looking for crew to help them on their boats.”
Another unique aspect of this club is its recent partnership with the University of Miami Sailing Club. Sailing is hard to find in South Ohio, but these two groups have come together to make the most of their passions. Gallagher cites this partnership as a beneficial union for both clubs.
“The Miami team were really great to us, they took us to Wisconsin to set up our club, they hosted us for scrums and helped us with a lot of the administrative side of things.” , Gallagher said. “They helped us in so many ways to start our club and we really couldn’t have done it without them.”
Sailing is a unique opportunity that many people don’t get the chance to experience. Gallagher wants to change that and make the sport more accessible.
âThe feeling I associate with sailing is just pure freedom, it’s a sport with virtually no boundaries and you are the only one in control, it’s all up to you and your crew,â said Gallagher. “You can be so creative to get from point A to point B, racing is really like a game of chess on the water.”
Parks thinks she thinks that if there had been a sailing club available to her while she was in school, it would have been difficult for her to resist the opportunity to join.
âIf I were an undergraduate student, I would love to have the opportunity to learn something new and meet new people from different parts of the country and the world,â Parks said.
There is just something in the water that invites students to join. In addition to learning this new skill, students put their knowledge to the test in regattas, another word for a series of sailboat races. As an academic advisor, Parks is constantly discovering ways in which the activities and events in which students participate can now impact their future. She believes that sailing has a lot of hidden value in making students more marketable for jobs.
âParticipating in regattas presents great teamwork, communication skills and technical skills, as each member of the boat needs to be responsible for their own task and be able to make changes quickly,â Parks said. “I believe these are skills that are great for any student to possess.”
Parks has been an integral part of restarting this club in partnership with Gallagher. They both really believe in this club and are not afraid to work to make it happen.
Being presented with such a unique hobby and presence to bring to campus was just the start for this club. He’s already grown and found new members, and Parks believes he will continue to become a household name on campus.
âI hope the club will continue to grow with students who are really interested in being an integral part of the club,â Parks said. “I also hope that the club will continue to establish itself on campus and one day become a recognized club sport at UC to be able to tap into different sources of funding and more resources in general.”
As for Gallagher, he also hopes to continue to make a name for himself for UC in the sailing community. Finding this community of sailors was a special experience for him. Knowing that there could be even more interested parties motivates him to continue.
âI love how much our club has grown,â said Gallagher. “We started off with literally nothing and now I meet all these cool people; we win regattas and just represent our university in a positive way.”
Students who want to learn more about the sailing club can find more information on their website.