Frequently Asked Questions
Can I join the team if I've never sailed before?
Prior experience certainly helps, however, some of our top sailors joined with little or no experience. Anyone interested in learning and willing to dedicate the time and work to sailing is welcome at practice. You can try one practice for free before committing!
Where do you sail?
We practice out of City Island Yacht Club on Eastchester Bay, about a 30 minute van-ride from campus. We are a five-minute boat ride from Fordham, New York Maritime, and King's Point, and we often practice with these teams. Our team competes in MAISA, the Mid-Atlantic district of ICSA. In addition to MAISA regattas, we travel to NEISA and SAISA for events, and compete with the best teams in college sailing.
Who can join?
The sailing team is primarily an undergraduate team; only undergraduates can compete in ICSA regattas. Graduate students are always welcome but cannot compete.
What is the schedule and time commitment?
The team holds a fall preseason starting the Monday prior to Labor Day. Regular practice begins the Wednesday after Labor Day. In the spring, practice begins in late February/early March. Practices are held every weekday from 2:30 - 7:00 pm including travel time and we recommend you practice at least once per week. These practices are racing practices geared towards sailors competing at collegiate regattas. Off the water, we hold a team meeting every Monday from 8:30 - 9:00 pm where sailors can hear about special events we’re hosting as well as learn about sailing through Coach Dave’s “Chalk Talks.” Sailors are also encouraged to take part in running the team by joining the officer board.
What boats do you sail?
College sailing is mainly double handed dinghies. We practice in a fleet of FJs, and compete in FJs and 420s. We also do joint practices with other teams in 420s.
Outside of practice and regattas, what else do you do?
The team hosts several social and alumni events each year. We have a formal to celebrate the close of the fall season and several team dinners throughout the year. In the fall, we host the Alumni Regatta, where alumni compete for the coveted Hapgood Trophy. Additionally, we host the Annual, formerly known as the Winter Fundraiser, at Columbia University’s Faculty House. During spring break, we travel to a warmer location for a week of training and team bonding.