Sailing Club dedicated to teaching members all aspects of sailing; looking to expand membership

Andrew Bryant
staff writer

Do you want to learn about the sport of sailing? Do you want an opportunity to make friends and have a good time while doing it? Well you’re in luck!

The new Sailing Club is dedicated to learning the history of the sport of sailing, teaching students the basics and safety of sailing and ultimately practicing the sport on the water.

The Sailing Club meets every other Wednesday, with their first meeting having occurred on Oct. 3. The meetings usually last 30-45 minutes, but students are allowed to eat lunch during the meeting. The meetings are intended to be “chill” and a fun experience for those who attend, Sailing Club President Akash Harjivan said.

The club has taken no time to start teaching information. In their first meeting, the members learned how to tie knots such as the bowline knot and the parts of a common sailboat.

In addition to helping students learn how to sail, the Sailing Club also claims to “enhance their leadership skills,” according to the 2018-19 Club Directory.

Meetings are usually held in math teacher Suzanne Pykosh’s room (room 281), but there are plans to have meetings at Vineyard Vines for sailing lessons and Navy Yard-Ballpark to practice sailing in the future, Harjivan said. “We are going to be taking a field trip to Vineyard Vines next meeting to learn about America’s Cup.”

Rounding out the leadership is vice president Michael Pugh, secretary Tony Ricciardella and treasurer Scott Sritharan, all juniors. The club leaders hope that more freshmen and sophomores join the club and that the current members recruit their friends. The club has only a few members, but the club hopes to garner enough attention to remain after the current officers graduate in 2020.

The Sailing Club was created based on his experience with sailing, Harjivan said. “Many kids on my sailing team come from Whitman, Churchill, B-CC, Bishop O’Connell etc. I’m the only one from Wootton.”
There are plans to have events in conjunction with the general club activities. In addition to meetings at Vineyard Vines and Navy Yard-Ballpark, there are plans to “do some fundraising events with restaurants in the area,” Harjivan said.

The club also plans on going sailing in the future. We want members to “get the feeling for how to sail a racing boat… on the Potomac River,” Harjivan said.

One student is happy about the introduction of the Sailing Club. “It provides more opportunity to try new things,” junior Muhammad Hashmi said.

Another student is less enthused about joining the club. “I only joined because Muhammad told me to,” junior Charbel Hachem said.

This school joins the list of schools with a sailing club, including Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Winston Churchill, and Walt Whitman high. There are also private sailing clubs throughout the county, such as the Montgomery Boat Club, the Breakwater Yacht Club and the Sailing Club of Washington.

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