Sailing Rigs Up For New Season

Though the lake temperature is still near freezing, the sailing team is already on the water preparing for its upcoming season.
The Sailing team’s two Head Coaches each bring their own unique experience and personality to the team. Coach Tom Peabody, who also works as a college advisor, brings experience as previous Captain of the Bowdoin College Sailing Team, which he led to its first-ever ICSA National Championship berth.
Coach Roger Rawlings P’12, ’14, ’19 is entering his 26th and final year coaching sailing at Hotchkiss. He will retire at the end of this season, after leading the team to five New England Championships in the past eight years.
This season will be the last chance for the athletes to experience Rawlings and Peabody’s unique joint system of coaching. Co-Captain Chris Lukens ‘19 describes the pair as “a really good dynamic. Peabody [recently] sailed in college, [and] is really good with tactics and boat handling. We also have [Rawlings], who is kind [of] older and wiser [and] keeps everybody together.”
Two weeks ago, Lukens, Meredith Moran ‘19, John Eastman ‘20, and Oliver Hurwitz ‘21 went undefeated in a team race regatta. Though this regatta will likely not be the hardest competition the team faces, “the team looks really fast when sailing and that’s good,” said Lukens.
The 2019 season saw the addition of nine new sailors to the team, seven of whom are preps. This gives the team one of its largest freshman classes in recent years, providing the depth it needs to be able to field a balanced team for years to come.
The coaches are emphasizing the importance of teamwork in a sport that can often be seen as individual. This is especially true of team races, where three boats must work together to finish in a favorable combination. Rawlings said, “Communication and teamwork are key to winning team races.”
The season continued this past weekend when the team traveled to Portland, Maine, to compete in the two-day Sail Maine Jamboree. At the jamboree, the team defeated Milton Academy, Portland HS, Cape Elizabeth HS, and Falmouth HS.
They will travel to Greenwich, Connecticut, this Saturday, April 13, to participate in the New England Fleet Championship Qualifier event before hosting the New England Fleet Championship at home the next day.