Location: Burlington, Vt.
Enrollment: 7,400 undergrads (8,900 total)
Sailing Site: Lake Champlain
Coaching Situation: Full-time head coach, Greg Wilkinson
Boats/Facilities: 12 FJs based out of the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center-office, boatyard, and ramp.
Funding: Two-thirds of the team's annual budget comes from the Student Government Association, the rest comes through fundraising, as do the larger capital projects, such as the planned purchase of 18 420s in either fall 2001 or 2002.
Program Profile: When Wilkinson took over the program in 1996, the Vermont team had two 420s, a few decrepit Laser 2s, and the most black points (scheduling penalties for not showing at regattas) in NEISA. They purchased some used FJs, practiced hard in the chilly northern Vermont weather, and made the long drives to regattas, slowly but surely erasing their black points. Though regatta sites in NEISA are close compared to other districts, Burlington is 90 minutes from the team's closest competition, and 3.5 hours from Boston. The team broke into the Sailing World national rankings in September 1999, later peaking at 14th. The biggest problem Wilkinson faces now is convincing other top programs to make the drive to Burlington for home regattas. When the school held NEISA's singlehanded champs last October it was the first time most of the other coaches had been to Lake Champlain for a collegiate regatta.
Did You Know? The school sails on of the widest part of Lake Champlain (12 miles across), and the prevailing southerly often kicks up to 15 to 20 knots with 2- to 4-foot waves during practice.