Wednesday, October 17th
BURLINGTON, VT --- Imagine joining a high school team where there are no tryouts, no cuts, and open to everyone - welcome to the Northern Vermont High school sailing team.
"It's a great opportunity to just learn to sail and then learn to race.", says team coach Rachel Miller.
The team is the brainchild of Miller, who nine years ago recognized there was no opportunity for teens to sail. Now she has twenty-six athletes from six diferent schools who compete against teams throughout New England.
"We are the leaders in a trend now that includes what we call composite teams. And it's for areas like us where there may not be enough kids from every school to make up a whole sailing team but with kids from lots of schools we have a very strong team.", says Miller.
"We've gone to regattas out of state, in Boston the past couple of weeks and she's just helped me so much increase my speed and overall sailing.", says CVU student Cat Hill.
This team is truly for everyone, boys, girls, from any school, and you don't even have to know much about sailing
"It's not really about experience on this team. It's about having fun, learning the basics.", says CVU student Meg Wallace.
"Before the summer I didn't even know anything about putting a sail on a boat. It's been good. They teach us everything from putting the boat together to actually sailing and racing in high school regattas.," says Mt. Abraham student Alan Schmidt.
"We really rely on the kids with a little more race experience to teach the kids with less experience. I think that's part of what makes this team work", says Miller.
Kids who would never otherwise have access to Lake Champlain are now experienced sailors.
"If I had the opportunity I would love to do it for my life.", says Wallace. "It's so great. I love being out on the water, especially on days like this. It'd just amazing."
--- Shawna Lidsky
PO Box 4508