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MIT student blogger Fiona M. '20

Sailing Spring Break by Fiona M. '20

a trip to Charleston and why the sailing team is awesome

My spring break consisted of some of the things I love most in this world: sailing, friends, food, and warm weather. Woo! Every spring break, the sailing team goes to the College of Charleston in South Carolina for training. This post is about that.


If you follow MIT Student Life on Snapchat and were keeping up with the social medias last week, you already know how cool the sailing team is (we ran the account during spring break!!), but if you don’t then I hope this post sufficiently informs you of our greatness.


We reported to the sailing pavilion at 5:30 am on Saturday packed and ready for Charleston. The flight was about 2 hours, and from the airport we quickly stopped at a grocery store for food and the hotel to drop off bags, then went right to the venue for an afternoon of sailing.


(PS the airport was super cool and I saw a Dreamlifter in real life and wow it is huge.)

The venue was beautiful. Charleston’s boathouse is right next to an aircraft-carrier-converted-into-a-museum with some dope planes on it.


(^^Photocredz to Julia C. ’20!!)

Basically, our schedule each day was as follows:
Wake up –> Food –> Sailing –> Food –> Sailing –> Food –> Sleep

The weather was amazing. There was no snow. It was not cold. I wore sleeveless things. I got a watch tan. It was great.

A couple days, there was not enough wind to sail during the morning session. Instead, we had meetings and reviewed video footage from previous days.  Sailing in Charleston is way different from sailing on the Charles River (which, in case you didn’t know, is dammed and therefore has no flow).


Sailing in Charleston was probably some of the most fun sailing I’ve ever sailed. We mainly used z420’s, which I personally found more fun to sail in than the FJ’s we sail at MIT.


(^Also PC to Julia)

Because College of Charleston is not currently on spring break, we got to practice with them during our afternoon sessions of Tuesday and Wednesday. Any practice against unfamiliar people is especially helpful because you can learn a lot from each other.

We had groups of people team racing and fleet racing Charleston’s team.  I got to do both, which was super fun.

For non-sailors:
Team racing is 3v3 and the aim is for your team to finish in a combo beating the other team (ex: your team wins if your finish results are 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place (totaling 9 points) and the other team finishes 1st, 5th, and 6th (totaling 12 points)). All 3 boats work together to reach a winning combination. For example, if one of your teammates is falling behind, you might try and slow a boat on the other team so that your teammate can pass them.
Fleet racing and any number of boats, and everybody is trying to sail as fast as they can and don’t have the goal to mess up others.


After afternoon sessions, we’d go back to the hotel to shower, then go out to a different restaurant each day for dinner.

On Sunday, we went a fun park for some Go-Karting and mini golf. Go-Karting was super fun except for the brief period of time I was stuck behind the slowest. person. ever. and by some strange magic mimicked every single one of my attempts to pass them for at least an entire lap. Whateverrr- I’m still a Go-Kart champion. Now, I wouldn’t call myself a mini golf champion or anything, but I was on a pretty hot streak getting mostly holes in two or three shots, until tragically shot down and disheartened with the Great Depression around Hole 14. I ended the game with a solid 58 points.

The last day, we went to a delicious Mexican restaurant called Carmen y Juan.
Like most restaurants of the sort, we were given chips and salsa upon sitting down. After inhaling the first baskets of chips, we asked for refills. We were expecting like 2 baskets, but our waiter, Max, returned with enough baskets for each person at the table. Julia C. ’20, was especially grateful for the chips and one thing led to another and now Max and Julia are life long best friends.

Here is a photo of us with our bomb waiter Max: (Photocreds to Sameena S. ’19)



And below are some more photos of sailing and the team!! (If you loved this post and are dying to keep up with the MIT sailing team, follow @mitsailing on Instagram!! (Or better yet, join us!! Lots of people join the team with no experience and have a great time and get really good!!))

noidce.png meandsameena.jpg allteam.png