College Sailing Team Spotlight
Location/enrollment: Norfolk, Va., 19,000 undergraduates, 5,500 graduates
Sailing Site: Elizabeth River
Facilities/Boats: ODU Sailing Center on campus, 18 FJs, 8 420s, 8 lasers
Coaching: Mitch Brindley, head coach; Charles Higgins, Jeanne Walker Sinclair, assistant coaches
Team Status: Varsity
Brindley, a graduate of ODU, has been coaching this successful team for 16 years. “We are treated well, just like any other varsity sport on campus,” he says. “The university is very proud of the success of the sport and proud of the sailors who have gone on to do well in the Olympics.” Top women’s skippers Anna Tunnicliffe ‘05 and Sally Barkow ‘02, and all-star crew Debbie Capozzi ‘03, are currently vying for the Women’s Match Racing berth at the 2012 London Olympics. There are other ODU alumni mounting Olympic campaigns and coaching college sailing teams. “Our sailors can go on to do other things,” says Brindley. “They don’t have to become pro sailors. But they have so much fun sailing here at ODU, often they want to make it their vocation.” A unique aspect of the 2010-2011 ODU team: 20 of 28 members are female, and of the 12 freshmen on the team, 10 are women.
Did you know:
In addition to all the hard work on the water, team members get together off the water to engage in civic duties through Monarch Reach Out, a community outreach program organized by the school’s athletic office. For an “Extreme Food drive” this year, the team delivered 500 pounds of food in an FJ. to honor the good deed, Xzibit, host of MTV’s Pimp My Ride, pimped the boat.