April 19, 2017

Smooth Sailing

The Providence College Sailing Team

BY VICKI-ANN DOWNING

Four afternoons a week, in the hours before sunset, the Providence College sailing team practices the techniques of jibing and tacking on the waters of the Providence River.

The team’s 40 members include experienced sailors such as Ian Maccini ’18 (Jamestown, R.I.), who learned to sail as a boy, and newcomers like Kerry Wheeler ’17 (Fredericksburg, Va.), who never sailed until she joined.

The head coach, Dr. Timothy J. Maynard, a retired Navy officer, and the associate head coach, Tricia Sellon, a competitive sailor, shout directions from a motorboat as a dozen FJ dinghies — a skipper and a crew member aboard each one — follow a course marked by orange buoys, struggling to harness the fickle and elusive wind.

Ian Maccini ’18 is ready to skipper his FJ dinghy toward the starting line.

“The weather changes a lot,” said Maccini. “In March, it’s 25 degrees and snowing and really cold. In September, it’s beautiful and 85 degrees, and you’re in shorts.”

The race team competes in the New England Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association and travels in the fall to such schools as Harvard University on the Charles River, Connecticut College on the Thames River, and the University of Vermont on Lake Champlain. Every October, the team welcomes 15 other New England colleges to the PC Invitational Sailing Regatta at its home base, the Rhode Island Yacht Club in Cranston.

The sailing team, a PC tradition since 1951, benefits from a strong alumni base that provides financial and instructional support. Alumni will join the team at its annual fundraising banquet on April 29 at the New York Yacht Club in Newport.

Early spring brings an eagerness to get back on the water — and less than ideal conditions. When a boat capsizes, students, wearing dry suits as protection from the cold, have about five minutes to right it.

“It’s terrifying — and it’s definitely my favorite thing,” said Wheeler. “When you do go over, it’s a great bonding experience with whoever you’re with. I’ve had some crazy capsizes, but they’ve always resulted in better friendships and a lot of laughter.”

PC’s sailing team on the water

More from the Spring 2017 Providence College Magazine

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Living through History: Michael P. Sullivan ’88

Dr. Roy Peter Clark ’70: What a Difference a Half Century Makes

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Six Friar greats honored as ‘Legends Forever’

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Former student honors Dr. McCaffrey with fund

Lecture series encourages students to consider science careers

PC News Spring 2017

Retired Col. Noel Doyle ’58, wife create scholarship fund for SCE student-veterans

Friartown All the Way

Class Notes: Spring 2017

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Spring 2017 Issue

Friar Explorations journeying to Italy in October

In Memoriam: Paul J. Austin ’63; Mal Brown Award recipient mentored young alumni

In Memoriam: Douglas J. Sullivan ’74; Black Alumni Committee leader, former NAA Council member

In Memoriam: Richard A. Ernst ’61; played two sports, coached at PC

In Memoriam: Rev. Adrian G. Dabash, O.P. ’62 & ’63G; retired art professor, former chaplain

In Memoriam: Rev. Norman F. Haddad, O.P. ’54 & ’01Hon.; served as PC trustee, prior provinicial

Jackson ’09G establishes scholarship fund in memory of Dr. McCaffrey

In Memoriam: Gordon H. Holmes ’61; his shot put PC basketball ‘on the map’

In Memoriam: Deaths, Spring 2017

Liberal arts ethos strengthens National Board of Overseers’ resolve

Sail away with the Spring 2017 issue

Students face ethical dilemmas in first PC business case competition

Rev. John S. Peterson, O.P. ’57 embodied PC, Dominican Order

Clare Boothe Luce scholarships to enhance opportunities for women in STEM disciplines

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