Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Capstone sailing club teaches new members

Though the University of Alabama Sailing Club has maintained unstable membership since the 1980s, its April 2011 reincarnation is going strong after more than two years.

The club was founded and spearheaded by Randy Mecredy, current director of the Museum of Natural History. Mecredy has been sailing for decades as a member of the Tuscaloosa Sailing Club.

“[The Tuscaloosa Sailing Club is] an older club, and by that I mean I’m the youngest member,” Mecredy said.

(See also “Waterfest focuses on cleaning up Tuscaloosa’s main water source“)

For $10 a semester, members of the UA Sailing Club become members of the Tuscaloosa Sailing Club and can participate in any social events and outings held by either organization.

“We generally do one or two boat washes as fundraisers, but sometimes we just take the daysailers out and say come along,” said Danelle Pecht, the social media chair and a junior majoring in biology. “The first time I went sailing by myself, I went out with one guy in a Colby 14. We got out to the middle of the lake, he handed me the rudder and said, ‘Sail away.’”

Though the club focuses primarily on hobbyists and teaching new members how to sail, Mecredy said the eventual goal of the club is to become a competition racing group.

(See also “Intramural sports keep students fit, lower stress“)

“Most schools the size of Alabama have competitive teams, but we don’t,” secretary Maureen Penn, a freshman majoring in biology, said. “Even Auburn has one, and we don’t even have something close to that.”

The UA Sailing Club meets two Sundays a month for half-day events on the water in addition to regular, weekly meetings on Tuesdays in the Ferguson Center.

“One of the examples [Mecredy gave] was that most crew teams we have at the University started as hobby clubs,” co-president Luci Willis, a freshman majoring in international studies, said. “At some point in the future, maybe not next fall and probably not next spring, he could see us becoming competitive.”

The next few meetings will focus on teaching inexperienced members, which make up the majority of the club, basic sailing and docking. Their first outing will be held this Sunday at 10 a.m. at the Tuscaloosa Sailing Club on Lake Tuscaloosa.

“The best way to learn how to sail is to crew with someone who has been doing it a while, and Tuscaloosa Sailing has races on a regular basis,” Mecredy said.

(See also “UA rowing team awaits new boathouse“)


More to Discover