GUST club swirls with possibilities

The Gannon University sailing team is in search of potential male and female students who love to be on the water and would like to be a part of the building process of a new club sporting program.

AJ Miceli, the Gannon sailing team adviser, said this new team would be taking advantage of a valuable resource that just happens to be so close to our campus. He said he would act as the coach to start up the program while using his 30 years of experience racing on the bay.

“We have to get a minimum of four students – a couple with experience – who want to do this,” Miceli said. “And be the pioneers.

“We would identify them as skippers right away.”

Miceli explained that each boat would need one skipper – serving as the captain – and one crew member to carry out orders. He added that the team would not be limited to four members.

“We would love to see this grow into a larger club sport with maybe 12 to 20 students that are interested in this,” Miceli said.

Pierre Santamaria, a senior entrepreneurship major and a potential sailing team member, said he started sailing in Maryland at the Rock Hall Yacht Club on the Chesapeake Bay.

“Junior sailing was a lot of fun,” Santamaria said. “I learned the basics and fundamentals of sailing from my instructor and team.

“It’s a life-changing experience to be out on a boat racing and moving quickly through the water without hearing a sound.”

Miceli said the Erie Yacht Club is constructing a new facility, the Rickloff Community Boathouse, which the team would be able to utilize for practice.

The Rickloff Community Boathouse stores 13 boats that are used during the summer to teach junior sailing.

“We would make arrangements to use those boats in the spring,” Miceli said.

Miceli said that he would ideally want to start practicing in August, in hopes of having two practices during the week and one on the weekend. He added that two practices would be sufficient, and he would even accept practicing once a week if that was the only possibility.

Miceli said that the team would enter the Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association, MAISA, which includes schools from New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, Washington D.C., and a few schools in Ontario, Canada.

Miceli explained that intercollegiate sailing races take place in two split seasons. The first spans from September to October and the latter begins in April and concludes in May.

“I would love to go to one regatta in the fall and bring one or two boats with us to compete,” Miceli said. “I think that would be a good start for us.”

Santamaria said that the club sport is a great way to find a niche for yourself on campus.

“I would tell other students if they love new experiences and teamwork that they should ask about joining,” Santamaria said.

Miceli said that Gannon’s administration is behind the program, and if anyone is interested in the program then they can reach out to him at [email protected]



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