By Grace Kenney, Staff Writer
For the first time since its inception in the fall of 2015, the sailing team entered the spring season as a varsity team, and they have already developed a strong racing team, added a new team member and traveled to their first out-of-state regatta in Maryland.
In transition from the fall to spring season, the team, coached by Hillary Clauss, prepared for a competitive season with a driven and optimistic mindset. Aside from practicing on the water at Shrewsbury Yacht Club, the sailors have prepared through on-campus strength training and team discussions. Currently, the team competes in a conference called the Inter-Scholastic Sailing Association (ISSA), which includes other local high schools such as Red Bank Catholic, Christian Brothers Academy and Rumson-Fair Haven. Of the 17 boats, the team consistently places in the top five in their regattas.
“We are not the most experienced team out there, having members new to the sport of sailing; however, we have made an impressive showing for Trinity Hall sailing,” said senior Holly Koerwer, who founded the team with classmate Reilly BurnsCohen.
In addition to the impressive results, the team placed fifth in the recent Ocean County College Spring League Championships in Toms River, which qualified them for the Mid-Atlantic Scholastic Sailing Association (MASSA) Silver Championship at Washington College in Maryland. From April 8-9, the team competed against 12 other teams from around the northeast. Despite the harsh weather conditions, sophomore Julia LaForgia recalls the team’s enjoyable experience as they placed sixth overall.
“Collectively we learned a lot not only about sailing but about working together as a team. We bonded through team dinners, motivating each other through the bad conditions and putting all of our effort in no matter how mentally or physically challenging it got,” LaForgia said.
As the team becomes more experienced after a formative year, Clauss hopes to enter more competitions.
“I am very proud of the MASSA regatta [because] the girls had to overcome environmental difficulties. I am hoping to continue to work with the girls to fine tune their skills and work on traveling to more competitive regattas in the future,” Clauss said.