Saints start to set sail

Juniors Andrew Dryden and Grace Beneke kick-start a new sailing club at Trinity


Freshman Nolan Evans and junior Andrew Dryden talk through their plan while waiting for the next practice race to start. Dryden's experience in sailing helps inexperienced sailors like Evans to get an easier grasp on how to efficiently sail and win regattas.

Amy Qiao, Staff Writer

  The wind is blowing at over seven knots, and the rapids of Lake Eustis start to crash against the sailing boat while junior Filip Jastrzębski struggles to keep his boat up. Into the first 15 minutes of sailing practice, Jastrzębski has capsized twice. However, after a couple hours of practice, Jastrzębski managed to out-sail other sailors in mock races and reach land safely.

  For months, the co-founders, juniors Andrew Dryden and Grace Beneke, have been planning to launch a new sailing club at Trinity. While this process has been underway since the start of this school year, the team will participate in its first regatta on March 9 at Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa.

  Trinity’s team currently consists of eight active members lead by Dryden and Beneke. To advocate for his new team, Dryden has tried to get the word out to interested students by sending a Notes from the Quad notice, contacting administration about varsity sport validation, designing T-shirts and hosting biweekly practices. Upper School Principal Patrick Mulloy said that Dryden has been the main orchestrator to really push for the start of a new sailing club at Trinity.  

  “[The sailing team] shows you how a student, Drew, who was a brand new sophomore last year, was able to build a club that will keep thriving with younger sailors as they grow up,” Mulloy said.

  The sailing team practices every other week at Lake Eustis and is assisted with two other coaches— TJ O’brien, captain of the UCF Sailing team and Craig Yates, a native from New Zealand. During these practices, the new beginners learn the basics of rope knotting and the workings around harsh wind speeds.

  Although the sailing team doesn’t compete as a varsity sport under Trinity’s Athletic Department, the team intends to be competitive against the 35 other prep schools in Florida.  Since the FHSAA does not sanction sailing as a sport, sailing has its own governing body under ISSA, Interscholastic Sailing Association.

  *insert Langdon quote about if it will become a varsity sport*

  Ever since the start of his sophomore year, Dryden has always hoped for a new sailing club at Trinity. During the summer before his sophomore year, Dryden spent his time sailing all over West Canada and was determined to continue sailing at school. After joining the Lake Eustis Club Team, Dryden realized how beneficial a sailing team at Trinity would be.

  “I think it would be really cool to expand Trinity’s presence [in sailing] because it’s such an influential sport that not everyone has.”

 Beneke, the other founder of the sailing team at Trinity, discovered her love of sailing at the age of 9 during a summer spent in Ireland. Beneke currently holds a US level 1 instructor’s license in sailing and spends her summers in Ireland teaching kids about the fundamentals of sailing.

  Freshman Joseph Tuscano said that he loves how the sailing team is both a casual activity for weekends and also a competitive sport during regattas.

  For the rest of his years at Trinity, Dryden hopes to expand the influence of the sailing club to younger students so that they can carry on the team in the future.

  “With all the opportunities we are given, I think [the sailing club] was something I was able to pursue.” Dryden said. “I really want to develop it into a solidified program that I am proud about and the school is proud about.”