UH Sailing Team Hoping for Smooth Waters at Nationals

Andy Johnson
Andy Johnson

KEEHI LAGOON (KHNL) -- It's been one of the most successful programs at the University of Hawaii over the past ten years, and the UH Sailing Program keeps that recognition going.

It's no surprise UH commands a strong sailing team, everywhere you look, we're surrounded by ocean. But what is surprising is that they missed out on nationals last year, making this year's return to the championship that much sweeter.

For a recreational sailor, this isn't the type of situation you want to be in. But for the UH Sailing Team, it's just another day on the water.

"Sailing a dingy is not like out sailing a big boat with a beer in your hand, these are athletes and they work extremely hard," said Andy Johnson, Sailing Head Coach.

That hard work has paid off. The Rainbow Wahine Sailing Team is heading to it's 9th nationals in 11 years. And after missing out last year, the team's happy to be back.

"We've been rebuilding, last year we were rebuilding we lost six seniors two years ago, and we're so excited to get it together," said Wahine Skipper Pam Magasinn.

Seventeen other teams will join UH at the national championships, and despite being an unranked team, the Wahine know what they'll need to do.

"I think we'll have to do something my coach always says, keeping everything you can control in control so when something you don't expect to happen occurs, you're prepared for it," said Wahine Skipper Becky Mabardy.

One thing the team can't control is the weather, and they know it's going to be a lot different than the waters at home.

"Well it was 50 degrees there yesterday, and the water was 50 degrees, so it'll be a little different but the nice thing is it'll be good sailing conditions, it'll be consistent winds and it'll be a lot of fun," said Coach Johnson.

Nationals begin on Monday and run through Wednesday in Rhode island.

Interestingly enough, the last time the Wahine won the national championship was in 2001, when they were in Boston, so perhaps New England is lucky waters for Hawaii.