US Racing | BVI Pride
- June 30th, 2011
- in Yachting
US Racing with BVI Pride
When Alec Anderson left the BVI two years ago to attend Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island, he swapped the familiar trade winds and warm Virgin Islands waters for the cold and confusing currents of New England. He moved forward into his freshman year, as a versed fleet sailor, eager to try his hand at team racing and college living. At the end of his freshman year he’d be named the New England Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association rookie sailor of the year. Last month, topping off his sophomore year, he’d receive All-American Skipper honours, along with nine seniors and one sophomore.
Alec’s got a lot to show for his hard work. For the first time in the history of the school’s sailing programme, the RWU Hawks ranked first in the United States collegiate rankings, as determined by Sailing World. The Hawks held that title for two weeks, and moved strong into the APS/ICSA National Championship at the Columbia River Gorge in California. The team would move through three days of competitive racing, including six round robins, before securing a national title. They’d then move on to the National Dinghy Championships—another first for the Hawks—where they would place sixth among the toughest teams in the country.
In all, Alec has maintained impressive form through his sophomore year, to say the least. I recently spoke with Alec about his accomplishments with the Hawks. Admittedly excited, the Olympic hopeful, who turns 20 this month, remained humble. “We have a great team who work hard together and push each other—both on the water and off,” the aspiring business major said, adding that his coaches have helped him to adapt and grow on the unfamiliar waters. “Wherever you sail in the world, conditions vary, so in regard to school [sailing] I’ve had to adjust to much more shifty and variable conditions, including extreme current in some locations.”
Alec’s head coach, Amanada Callahan, spoke with less reservation than the young sailor when describing his accomplishments.
“Alec was a very talented sailor coming into RWU,” she said. “We’ve helped him adjust to the college style of sailing and helped him learn the finer points of team racing. … Alec has a stronger work ethic than some of the talented sailors we’ve had in the past, so he sets a good example for the underclassmen.”
Alec said he's “pumped to be home” in the BVI for the summer; his parents and friends are equally excited to have him back. In the meantime, Alec said he looks forward to competing in some match races with local sailor Colin Rathbun, and has ambitious plans to gain 20 pounds of muscle to sail the Laser in a 2012 campaign.
Next year, Alec will be sailing in the top spot for RWU. In that position, his coach predicts, "He has potential to have an amazing year."