Students take to the lake in sailing fundraiser

Christina Salter

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Northwestern students and Evanston residents experienced Lake Michigan firsthand aboard sailboats, learning how to tack, trim and pull the jib rope during Memorial Day weekend.

The NU sailing team held its second annual “Sail with a Sailor” fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday through Monday.

The goal was to raise money for the upkeep of the boats and to help send the team to regattas, said sailing team treasurer Andrew Wien. The event had about 80 customers by Monday afternoon, aided by good weather throughout the weekend.

“We’re definitely doing it again next year, and hopefully people will keep coming back,” said Wien, a McCormick junior.

Leslie Kwasnieski was at NU visiting her daughter, who is a member of the sailing team, and said she enjoyed her ride Monday.

“Everybody should have this experience,” Kwasnieski said. “How many people really get to go sailing?”

While most team members helped with the weekend event, six female team members competed at the Intercollegiate Sailing Association Women’s National Championship in Rhode Island.

The NU women qualified for two spots in the competition and would compete in 72 races over three days, said Team Co-Captain Tod Reynolds.

“It’s the top sailors in the country and even in the world,” the McCormick sophomore said. “It’s a once in a lifetime experience to compete against the best of the best.”

At NU, McCormick junior Tyler Lorenzi took mostly students, along with a few Evanston residents, out on the lake during the weekend.

A member of the sailing team since his freshman year, Lorenzi said another goal of the event was to raise money to hire a coach to help the team become more competitive. Currently, the more experienced team members teach the newer ones.

“If we can get someone out there telling us what we’re doing wrong, it’s just infinitely better,” he said.

The team also offered tubing for the first time this year for $10 per person, but with favorable weather conditions for sailing, few people chose to tube, he said.

Weinberg senior Storm Liebling said he was looking forward to the experience as he waited to hop on a sailboat Monday.

“I figured, it’s Memorial Day; what better way to celebrate than by going out on Lake Michigan with a bunch of friends?” Liebling said.