Students Celebrate River at Annual Get Your Float On

SMCM Sailing Club’s Fall Get Your Float On (GYFO) was a resounding success. Students went sailing and learned the basics of  kayaking and windsurfing.

Sailing Club Vice President Andrew Surgent took several groups of students out sailing on the College’s new Condor 300 Trimaran. Music from The Hawk Radio rolled over the waterfront while young scholars relaxed pier-side with friends. Club officers manned the grills and other students learned the rudiments of windsurfing, kayaking, and sailing on what may prove to be one of the nicest days of September 2011.

Every semester, St. Mary’s College’s Sailing Club coordinates with the Windsurfing Club, Offshore Team, and Grill Club to hold a sailing event and barbecue. “Get Your Float On is all about getting people excited about the waterfront,” said Surgent.

“The goal of the event is to get as many people out on the water or floating as you can, and the really sad thing for us is that people go four years here and graduate without going on a boat,” stated Surgent. “Maybe they’ll go kayaking once in four years but they’ll…never go out on a boat or…sail or anything like that.”

Club Treasurer Roger Ding said, “We offer sailing lessons for free. There’s a lot of people who are seniors who say, ‘Yeah, I’ve been going to St. Mary’s for four years and I’ve never learned to sail.’”
Sign-ups for sailing lessons occur at the fall and spring Club Fairs. By signing up at Club Fair, a student will have have a guaranteed spot in the lessons.

Sailing Club President Kenneth Doutt said, “We had a lot of people come down. One of the great things was that we were able to offer people rides on the waterfront’s new Trimaran, the Condor 40, and a lot of people loved the opportunity.” DelMarva Boat Sports also loaned the sailing club several of their paddle boards. Doutt observed that students really enjoyed taking the paddle boards out, “especially after the wind died down.”

The Sailing Club also holds a novice regatta after the end of sailing lessons each semester; past winners of the Novice (FJ) Regattas were awarded gift certificates to the Campus Bookstore. Surgent said a small FJ regatta may be a “coming attraction” at the spring GYFO.

Doutt also said that the spring GYFO “is generally the last day of class and it’s a great way for people to let loose and blow off some steam they have to hunker down and start studying.”

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