The University of Southern California Varsity Sailing Team represents an integration of intense competition, extreme focus, diversification, and lots of fun. The rigors of sailing on the team rival those of the classroom. Team members must balance work with play (college sailing and college are both), while maintaining the academic excellence that was exhibited to be admitted to USC. Practices are strenuous, goals are challenging, expectations are high and an individuals roles on the team can be many. Skills of leadership and teamwork are paramount and our number one goal (as it has been for decades) is that this should be some of the most fulfilling years of your life, particularly in sailing.
Practices consist of three weekly sessions from 1pm to 6pm, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Available Priority Registration assists students in scheduling their classes around practice in order to have ample sailing time without missing class. The team travels from campus to the United States Sailing Center in Long Beach in team vans and/or car pool. At the Sailing Center (see “Facility” page) the team practices in a myriad of boats ranging from a fleet of 18 Collegiate Flying Juniors, Lasers, 420s, J24s, and various other keel boats. The team takes full advantage of the many high caliber sailors on the West Coast, numerous being USC alumni, with guest appearances at practices. The team also travels to practice at other venues and in other boats. Practices are always intense and heavily focused on preparing for upcoming events. The fall season is a balance of Sloops, Lasers, Coed and Women’s dinghy sailing with some team racing. In the spring the emphasis shifts to Team Racing and Coed/Women’s dinghies. Due to our excellent facility, abundance of boats, and extraordinary sailing venue, we are happy to host many of the college, as well as high school, events on the West Coast including the largest combined College and High School event in the country the Rose Bowl.
Hosting, as well as competing in events makes for a challenging schedule. When we are not competing on our home waters, we travel up and down the West Coast from breezy San Francisco to sunny San Diego. We also travel to the East coast and around the country to major intersectional and championship regattas. Competitions take us to Hawaii just about every other year. The team competes nearly every weekend against much of the best talent college sailing has to offer. Our roster boasts about 25 student athletes. We welcome sailors of all abilities and there are ample boats for the team to expand. With four nationally competitive teams (coed, women’s, team, and sloop) there are a plethora of leadership and team roles to be filled. Aside from team positions, our sailors are leaders in their respective majors. At USC, there are 17 professional schools (more than any other major research university), offering 77 different majors. While some sailors choose to explore the Greek system of fraternities/sororities that is available, many do not, as the team creates a great social and support infrastructure to ensure success both on and off the water. In addition, the team takes advantage of our year round sailing opportunities to have a lighter sailing schedule during the beginnings of our academic semesters. While many schools are chipping ice off their boats or waiting for their lake to thaw, we sail a short way across the Pacific Ocean to Santa Catalina Island where we spend the weekend sitting on the beach and barbequing or drive a few short hours for some of the best snow skiing in the world.