Practicing in the Bronx’s Eastchester Bay, the Columbia University Sailing Team is an entirely student-run program composed of both seasoned and novice undergraduate sailors. The team – active at the University since World War II – competes in regattas throughout the northeast and won the Ivy League Championships in 2002.
As individuals, the sailors gain self confidence and improve their communication skills, according to their coach, William Brown, but are perhaps best known for their camaraderie. Team members form close friendships on and off the water—ties that extend into their lives as alumni.
“Team members genuinely dedicate themselves to the intercollegiate sailing network, to Columbia sailing, and, most importantly, to each other,” said Kerry Morrison ’11CC, the program’s captain and president in 2009 and 2010.
In addition to competing most weekends during their season, the team hosts a formal event each semester, travels together every spring break for training, and hosts alumni regattas and dinners.
Before coming to Columbia, Frank Rinaldi ’99SEAS had never left Ohio. But soon, he was sailing down the east coast from Maine to Virginia.
“I discovered competitive sailing my first semester—the same person who first showed me around Columbia knew some of the sailors, and they needed someone for a regatta. They threw me in a boat and sent me on my way,” said Rinaldi, a technology consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York City.
Rinaldi, who became the sailing team’s co-captain, has made a bequest to the program that will one day support coaches and equipment.
“At Columbia, I really got to grow and explore who I wanted to be as an adult,” said Rinaldi, who met his wife, Megumi Shibata Rinaldi '99CC, at the University. “I still work with the sailing program by helping raise funds and trying to make sure that they're doing the right thing for the long-term.”