Northeastern Sailing is composed of around 40 dedicated and motivated student-athletes across all academic years and disciplines. We compete in both Fall and Spring seasons, sending sailors to anywhere from one to seven regattas a weekend, in locations from Maryland to Maine. Though most of our regattas are co-ed events, we have a competitive Women’s team that competes in many women’s only events, as well as the co-ed ones.
Our practices are on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons, from September to November, and from late February until the end of April. We sail in our fleet of 6 high performance FJ’s, and MIT’s fleets of 18 FJs, 24 Fireflies, 31 Tech Dinghies, and 6 420s when needed.
Originally called “Northeastern Yacht Club” at its inception in 1940, the Northeastern Sailing Team is one of the oldest college sailing teams in the country. Because of our unique 78-year partnership with MIT, we have practiced out of the MIT Sailing Pavilion since our team was established, and continue to call the Charles River home. With the progression of sailing as a collegiate sport, Northeastern became an active member of the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association (NEISA), one of the most competitive conferences in the Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA). The Boston area itself is the center of New England College Sailing, hosting 6 of the top 15 teams in NEISA, such as BU, BC, Harvard, and MIT. Exposure to the top level of competition has helped us become a more competitive team, and our growth has not stopped there!
In our Fall 2017 season, we qualified for the New England Match Race Championship and the Women’s Atlantic Coast Championship—both firsts in our team’s history. In this same season, our Women’s team was ranked 15th in the country by the Sailing World Coaches’ poll. Our hard work, in both practices and year round off-the-water training, has made us a top sailing team in the country.
A Course Change
In December of 2012, we received an endowment that would change our program forever. Thanks to a selfless donation from Pieter Eenkema van Dijk, we are now able to afford the salary for a long-term, high-caliber head coach. We hired Jonathan Farrar, an Olympic-level coach, whose location in Boston is a perfect match for our program.
The endowment and coaching position came at a perfect time for Northeastern, as we had been rising in New England rankings consistently over the past decade, but lacked a consistent and prominent coach to bring us to the next level. Now, with better sailing prospects coming in each year to supplement our talented team, we move forward with renewed determination, strengthened stability and heightened goals.
Most recruits that we take do have previous sailing and racing experience and tryouts have been more and more competitive each season. However, some of our crews had never sailed before college and made the team because they picked things up quickly at tryouts.
Absolutely! Fill out the contact form so you can meet with one of the sailors from the team. We are happy to have prospective students come down and watch a practice, or visit campus to meet the coach and team.
If you have sailing experience, fill out our recruitment form if you haven’t already to get in touch with Coach Farrar. If you have already been in touch with Coach Farrar, let him know that you’ve been accepted! If you have a sailing resume from high school, you can pass that along when he responds. We’ll keep in touch with you as the season gets closer and update you on tryout schedules.
Either way, stay tuned for announcements about recruitment meetings, and come by our table during Spring or Fall Fest to learn more about the team.
We practice three times a week, on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 3:30 to sunset. We also have team workouts once a week, and team members are expected to attend everything their schedule permits, including a minimum of 2 practices.
Most regattas are two-day events on Saturday and Sunday. We send four sailors in two boats for most regattas, and sailing is typically from 9:30-4 (ending earlier on Sundays). Many regattas are local – on the Charles where we practice, on the harbor at BC, or nearby at Tufts. We also travel to places from Vermont to Maine to Maryland during the regular season, with some postseason regattas taking us as far as Florida.
In the fall, from the beginning of September-mid November, although most regattas are finished by the end of October. In the Spring, we sail from the end of February through April and sometimes into the beginning of May.
Many of our sailors compete while on co-op. There is no requirement to do so, but if it fits your schedule, there are no regulations against sailing while you are working. The ICSA does limit each sailor to 8 seasons of competition, so sailors who are on the team for 5 years have to take two seasons off from competition.