College Sailing Team Spotlight: Roger Williams University
Top-notch coaching helped the Roger Williams Hawks win the Team Race National Championship in the Spring of 2011.
College Sailing Team Spotlight
Roger Williams University
Location/Enrollment: Bristol, R.I., 3,200 undergraduates, 390 graduates
Sailing Site: Mount Hope Bay
Facilities/Boats: The Learning Platform, located right on campus, is a convenient home-base for the sailing team. Although there’s not a dedicated boathouse, there’s easy water access and ample room for the Hawks’ fleet: 18 FJs, 6 420s, two motor boats, one Rhodes, and one Ensign.
Coaching: Amanda Callahan, head coach; Colin Merrick, assistant coach; Joel Hanneman, assistant coach
Team Status: Varsity
Last spring, the Hawks set the tone for success by winning the Team Race National Championship. With Hobart and William Smith graduates Amanda Callahan and Collin Merrick heading up the coaching staff, Roger Williams is producing more All-Americans and climbing in the rankings. “What I’ve brought to the table is the experience of coaching at two other successful programs [Stanford and Tufts], plus sailing as an undergrad, combined with the sailing that I’ve done since college,” says Callahan. “There aren’t many coaches with as much team-racing experience and success as Colin and I.”
The sailing program enjoys strong support from the school, and Callahan has set out to develop and challenge her sailors. “That’s the benefit of coaching in a newer program,” she says. “You get to pave your own way. While our team has been growing, the school has been growing, too. Five building projects have been completed in the last two years. We’re hoping a boathouse is next.”
This year, Callahan plans to develop the women’s team. “We’ll be doing the whole women’s circuit,” she says. “We’re looking to make a run for the women’s championship.”
Did you know?
The sailing team shares the waterfront with the marine biology program, which includes gardeners who raise over a million oysters a year.