In the fall of 2009, one sophomore had a vision. She wanted to see her college have a competitive sailing team. That sophomore is now a senior and her name is Bailey Dolson.
Dolson founded the Adrian College Sailing Club during her sophomore year. She started it because she had always loved sailing, and wanted to start a competitive collegiate sailing team on campus to continue sailing and share her passion with others.
Although the club is still growing, the members have a lot of experience that will help to ensure a bright future for the club. Dolson herself grew up sailing and being around yacht clubs.
“My family always had a boat, and I took lessons and was on my high school sailing team. I used to get asked to crew a lot, so I gained a lot of experience that way,” said Dolson.
This year there are eight people on the sailing team. More are always welcome. Experience is not needed, but it is preferred.
The club’s main goals are to race and to teach people how to race. The club races boats that are 14-feet long and manned by two people at a time. The club owns several boats, so they can send as many people as possible to as many different competitions as they can. The club members meet two to three times a week at the Clark Lake Yacht Club where they practice. They typically all meet on Tuesday and Wednesday in Caine to ride out to the Yacht Club together for their 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. practice.
Right now the club is gearing up for their first race against Hope College on Oct. 29. This will be the first race for the club, and they are hoping to win.
The meets can be all over the country. There is also a diverse competitor pool. Competing schools range from U of M and MSU to Dartmouth, Michigan Tech and MIT.
Usually the meets run all day, with actual racing events scattered throughout the day. Sometimes meets can span entire weekends. Most meets have boats that can be rented for the meet, but the AC Sailing Club has their own boats that they prefer to take with them.
Since the club has more members than boats, there is always a backup plan in case someone gets injured or sick.
There is a cost to joining the sailing club; $45 fee per year. This fee covers the cost of the membership to the yacht club, the fee for storing the boats, and for the clubs’ membership to the Midwest Collegiate Sailing Association (MCSA).
The season typically runs from February to November. Members can elect to participate all year or for some of the season, as many participants are also involved in athletics.
If interested in joining or learning more about the sailing club, or sailing in general, feel free to contact Bailey Dolson at firstname.lastname@example.org.