Starting in 1998 as a club sport, the University of Minnesota Sailing team has grown significantly from a humble, three person team to become a jugernaught of the Midwest Collegiate Sailing Association (MCSA) and a plyaer on the national scene. The travels of the team has brought great growth to these students, both on and off the water.
Although the team had existed in the far past, the beginnings of the current team began in the fall of 1996. The team started with a single regatta, the Davis Cup which is hosted by the University of Iowa Sailing Team on Lake McBride near Iowa City. The U of M Sailing Team consisted of 4 people, Chris Ander, Katie Ott, Brent Ostbye and a fourth girl, although the results of the regatta on the water are less than memorable, the experience was an important step in the beginning of the sailing Team.
In November 1998 three sailors, Brent Ostbye, Jaime Burnett and Jackie Couillard, began to build the team within the University with a sailing coach, Gordy Bowers, and a faculty representative, professor Poore. The team registered with the Club Sports department at the University of Minnesota with Couillard becoming the first Commodore, Ostbye the team secretary and Vurnett as treasurer. Although a problem arose when they were told that they needed a fourth officer to register. Bowers mentioned a kid he knew from the Minnetonka Yacht Club, Hans Zinn, and they put him down as the first Vice Commodore without even meeting him. Luckely Zinn was glad to help start the team and the University of Minnesota Sailing Team came into existence.
That winter the four knew that you coudn't have a sailing team with just four people so they began to recruit members. The knowledge of sailing was not a requirment to join, but the willingness to learn and more importantly to have a good time were. That February the team attended its first MCSA midwinter meeting with ten members to show the MCSA that they were a force to be reckoned with.
The spring 1999 season brought the team to their first official regatta, the Freshman Ice Breaker which is held at the University of Notre Dame. Although their results were less than great, the team continued to travel throughout the midwest competing in reagattas to prove that they showed drive and a desire to be there. The strength of the team eventually lead it to beome amongst the best in the midwest.
In the fall of 1999, the team hosted its first regatta, the Streufert Memorial Cup, which was held in honor of Carin Streufert.
In the spring of 2000, the team made its first appearence at Nationals, and event that you have to qualify for in order to attend. The university competed at the Women's qualifier and ended up in 3rd place, unfortunately on the top 2 teams get to go to nationals. Notre Dame was in second place but ended up with a protest against them, in the end Notre Dame was found at fault the the University of Minnesota ended up in 2nd place and were going to Nationals!
In the fall of 2002 the team looked for a new coach and found one in Cappy Capper, the director of the Lake Minnetonka Sailing School. He was looking to expand his program to the Wayzata Yacht Club and started that fall with the High School Sailing Teams.
Today we are continuing to build the team and attend as many regattas as possible and are still showing the MCSA and occasionally in the ICSA (International Collegeate Sailing Association) that we are a force to be reckoned with. Cappy Capper is still our coach and the Wayzata Sailing School has just purchased the Rosekrans Property which will eventually become a state of the art sailing facility to be used by the high schoolers as well as the University of Minnesota Sailing Team.