The team is run by an executive board made up of two co-captains, a treasurer, a long-term fundraising chair, a short-term fundraising chair, a recreational sports liaison, a regatta chair/MCSA liaison, a recruitment chair and a secretary. The well-organized group meets every Monday to discuss team logistics and has chalk talks in the winter months. The board also meets after to further discuss team business.
Board members run practices on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, until the lake freezes in November. They do the majority of the coaching, except for during spring break training and nationals, when the team hires an outside coach. The lake thaws sometime between March and April, meaning the team is competing in regattas in the spring before it has a chance to practice at the home venue.
"Sailors are required to pay semester dues after attending two practices or one regatta," explains Thompson. "There is no mandatory amount of practices they must attend, but we strongly encourage all sailors to come to our Monday meetings and weekly practices, as attendance is a large factor of the regatta selection process."
Each year the team strives to qualify for semifinals at spring nationals and to make it to the finals. But another important goal for the Michigan sailors is to grow their team and attract sailors from beginner to advanced.
"We feel it's important to get as many people excited about the sport as possible," says Thompson. "In recent years we have set a large emphasis on reaching out to alumni and creating a strong network with them to keep team members involved after graduation." In October, the team will host a new alumni regatta that it hopes to make an annual tradition to continue to grow the team base.