College sailing nationals bring sail-ect group of teams to Norfolk

Posted at 11:17 PM, May 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-28 23:17:47-04

Naval Academy sailing team (Courtesy: Navy Athletics)

NORFOLK, Va. - Beginning last Tuesday and cruising through this Friday, the waters of Norfolk's Elizabeth River are "title" waves. National title waves.

Old Dominion University is host to the 2018 Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) National Championships. And of all the colleges and universities in our great country: if there's one you'd expect to be a sailing juggernaut, wouldn't it be the institution with Midshipmen as its mascot?

"The Naval Academy has a long tradition of great sailors, " Ensign Gary Prieto revealed. "Back in the old days, the Navy used wind to power their ships."

Naval Academy sailing team (Courtesy: Navy Athletics)

Now, Prieto is part of the U.S. Naval Academy's intercollegiate sailing squad - a highly-competitive team that often competes for national championships. Prieto and Midshipman 1st Class Ana Mier will compete in the Gill College Sailing Coed National Eastern Semifinals May 29-30 in Norfolk - the same city that is home to Naval Station Norfolk, the world's largest naval base.

The weather does not look promising this week in coastal Virginia. However, a little bit of bad weather will not rock this boat.

"If you can't handle sailing against kids from other colleges in a little bit of rain, then you're going to be in a treat when you're out in the middle of the ocean in a hurricane fighting terrorism," Ian Burman, Navy's intercollegiate sailing head coach said smiling.

Naval Academy sailing team (Courtesy: Navy Athletics)

"We have a lot of former teammates who are stationed here, so it's really cool to see where they're at and have their support this week," Mier explained. "We've also come down here to sail quite a bit this year."

So, "water" you know? The Midshipmen feel right at home navigating Norfolk.

Navy will need to finish in the top-nine of the semifinal round in order to advance to the 18-team championship round from May 31-June 1. The Mids placed first in the coed semifinal round last season and then placed eighth in the championship round.