COURTESY GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION OFFICE
COURTESY GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION OFFICE

Though it may not enjoy the same fanfare as some other sports, Georgetown’s sailing team has long been one of the university’s most successful athletic programs. Despite accepting sailors with all levels of experience, the team is usually ranked among the top in the country, finishing second in the national championships last year and winning them the year before.

Head Coach Michael Callahan attributes that success to the remarkable chemistry his team has developed. Callahan’s team embraces what he calls an “as one” philosophy, which emphasizes the contribution of every sailor, regardless of experience.

“It’s what keeps the team connected and helps make the team close knit,” Callahan said. “As a brand-new sailor, it could be tough to feel that your presence will make the team better, but we stress that every little bit that you do at practice to get better makes the team better.”

Because of the inexperience that comes with welcoming novice sailors, the team’s veterans and recruited sailors play an instrumental role by helping the newcomers learn the sport. Callahan credits the success he has had recruiting top talent to complement the beginners to the team’s national reputation and Georgetown’s prestigious academics.

“The reputation of the team within the sailing community has been a great help in recruiting,” Callahan said. “But the single biggest factor in our ability to recruit great people is the fact that Georgetown is a great school.”

The Hoyas graduated several of their top sailors last year, including 2012 College Sailor of the Year Chris Barnard, so Callahan expects to have growing pains as everyone adjusts to new roles. However, he expects several standout sailors who remain from last year’s squad to help with qualifications for the national championships.

On the women’s team, Callahan expects seniors Nancy Hagood and Amanda Taselaar to help lead the Hoyas to a successful season; on the coed team, he called sophomore Nevin Snow his best sailor but also named junior Alex Post and sophomores Sean Golden and Greg Martinez as sailors he expects to step into leadership roles this season.

Junior Katia DaSilva — who will skipper and crew for both the women’s team and the coed team — was singled out by Callahan as potentially their most valuable sailor.

“She is among the most versatile sailors I have ever coached,” he said.

If history is any indicator, the Hoyas will rebuild quickly and be one of the best teams in the country by season’s end.

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