The familiar drive to Port Jefferson becomes a completely new and exciting experience when one is a member of the Stony Brook University Sailing Club.
The temperature and the direction of the wind are suddenly determining factors for the success of the practice. Unlike the unsettling amount of wind on campus, the perfect amount of wind is a necessity for the sailors in order to do what they love.
Despite being an incredibly young organization, for the Stony Brook University Sailing Club, the water runs deep. The four-year-old club strives to create an environment for both new and experienced sailors that is highly competitive, yet welcoming, nurturing and, most importantly, fun.
The organization is a club team, meaning that any student with interest can join. Members can, and are encouraged, to take part in regattas with adequate training.
For the first time since its inception, during the second weekend of April the Sailing Club held its own regatta, The Stony Brook Cup.
At The Stony Brook Cup, sailing teams traveled from Columbia, Fordham and Princeton to compete. The Stony Brook Sailing team, through many long days of practice, dedication and drive under coach Geoffrey Loffredo, came in second place against its elder competitors, beating both Columbia and Princeton.
Jason Rose, a political science lecturer at Stony Brook University, has been the faculty advisor for the club since it was first started. Rose lights up with excitement when talking about the club.
In addition to the passion of the team’s sailors and the support the club receives from campus recreation, Rose attributes the teams rapid growth and success to Loffredo, who has been the sailing team’s coach for the past three years.
Loffredo puts in around 60 hours a week to ensure that the members of team are improving, growing and receiving the support they need to be competitive in regattas.
“The reason we are where we are now is because of him, because of the tremendous work he has done,” Rose said about Loffredo.
Loffredo is amazed at how much the sailing team has grown since it was created.
“The growth of the team increased my time commitment which is great because that is the ultimate goal, to keep growing the team,” he said.
“I think something that is very important to recognize about the team is that we strive to make sure we continue balancing the competitive aspect with providing the opportunity for any student here at Stony Brook to experience sailing.”
Loffredo explained that members of the club do not necessarily have to compete in regattas. The sailing club gives its members the option to volunteer during events, participate in regattas, or just hone the skill of sailing and have the opportunity to get on the water.
The team’s treasurer, 19-year-old Avi Mayerhoff, is a political science major. For him, being on the sailing club team is an important aspect of his college life.
“One of the greatest things that our club team can bring to anything is that it brings in a lot of student leaders,” Mayerhoff said.
The team’s President, Cody Murphy, a 22-year-old electrical engineering major, is an example of a student leader on the team. In addition to being the president of the sailing club, he is also a resident assistant in Tabler Quad.
Murphy, like the team, has grown incredibly fast. With only two years of sailing, he attributes his rapid success to determination and practice.
“The sailors determine where we are going in terms of events but also in the long term. The reason why we have grown so far so fast, is the students, Jay and Geoff, but also because we have a team of people who are really involved and dedicated to seeing us grow,” Mayerhoff said.
Correction: April 22, 2015
The print version of this article misspelled the name of Columbia University.
Additionally, the print version of this story misspelled the name of the Sailing Club’s President, Cody Murphy.