Come sail away


courtesy of Delaney Mahon

Delaney Mahon, senior, and Daniel Holland, senior, compete at a sailing meet.

When Delaney Mahon, senior, mentions that she is part of the sailing club, most people respond in a surprising manner, saying “we have a sailing team?”

While most people are unaware, Hinsdale Central does in fact have a sailing club. The Red Devils, along with Walter Payton Prep, New Trier, Latin Academy, St. Ignatius, and Rickover Academy, participate in the the high school program at the Chicago Yacht Club.

Traveling to Chicago three times a week for practice, the handful of Central students, including Mahon, train on the International 420 sailing boat. Their practices include coaching each other for 20 minutes, sometimes watching videos of themselves to help form, and practicing out in Belmont Harbor.

The boats they use in practice are called two person “dinghies” and they require a skipper, who steers and trims the mainsail, and a crew member, who works the jib. All the terminology is very confusing, but an inclusive environment has helped Central students with the adjustment.

“The hardest thing to adapt to in sailing is practicing against people that have grown up sailing their entire life while I have only just started,” Mahon said. “It’s a lot of catching up to do, but for the most part they’re pretty helpful and understanding.”

With many people unaware of this opportunity, it’s intriguing to see how Central students first became involved.

“My initial interest in sailing came from watching the sailboats go by my lake house,” Mahon said. “It made me want to try it so I took sailing lessons this past summer. After the lessons, I realized I loved it and wanted to continue at the high school.”

“I always wanted to try it, but I never really had the time. This year my schedule allowed for more leisure time so I decided to give it a shot,” Daniel Holland, senior, said.

So, for students who have some free time on their hands and are looking to get outside their comfort zone, they shouldn’t be afraid to try the sailing club.