The Wind is Picking Up for the USA Club Sailing Sport Team

By: Stephanie Huynh | Managing Editor

Photo By: Connor Cobb

After years of back-and-forth communication among students, faculty, university leaders, and risk assessment officers, the South Alabama Club Sailing Sport Team has finally taken their ships back onto the water. 

Connor Cobb, a senior mechanical engineering student, has been with the Sailing Club since its inception. Currently serving as the treasurer, Cobb has an extensive background in sailing and even has a special license to sail.

“I was raised around sails and the water,” he said. “Sailing is my life and will continue to be.”

Aside from being reinstated as an active club, members of the Club Sailing Sport Team will be competing in regattas, or races, around the region.

Nathan Valentine, a senior studying speech and hearing sciences, is one of many team members who has been sharing his love for sailing with students at South with any chance that he gets.

“I used to sail in high school, so I really wanted to help get the club started here at South again,” he said. “It has been out of commission for about 10 years and several people have tried in the last few to get it going.”

As club secretary, Valentine has been able to lead alongside his peers to grow the club into what it is today. With a GroupMe chat of nearly 50 members, the Club Sailing Sport Team has made incredible progress.

Dr. Martin Frank, Physics professor and faculty advisor for the Sailing Team said, “My hope for the Sailing Club is that it will get our veteran sailors out racing other teams all over the Southeast, and I hope that we will bring new members out on boats to fall in love with this great sport.”

If you’re interested in seeing the team in action, you can see them at the Buccaneer Yacht Club—which is about 25 minutes from campus—on Fridays from 3 to 5:30 pm. No experience is needed to join; just be willing to learn!

Cobb’s advice for anyone looking to begin sailing with the Club Sailing Sport Team is to just try it out.

“This could be your one chance to learn from professional sailors for free,” he said. “We only have these two semesters, a little under a year, to teach all of the team members so they can continue when we graduate.”

“The Bay offers such great potential for our university and what better way to enjoy it than on our own sailing boats,” said Dr. Frank. “Also, I don’t know how we expect to be the Flagship of the Gulf Coast without getting some boats in the water!”