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Coed and Women's Sailing Introduced as Intercollegiate Sports in Eckerd Athletics Department

posted on 06/19/2012

Eckerd College Sailing

By Ben Schlesselman, Sports Information Director
Originally posted on Eckerd College Athletics website

The Eckerd College Athletics Department is pleased to announce the addition of coed and women's sailing as intercollegiate sports effective immediately for the upcoming 2012-13 academic year.

With the increased number of intercollegiate sports now up to 13 under the oversight of Director of Athletics Dr. Bob Fortosis, the Tritons are welcoming the already-established tradition of both programs with open arms.

"All of us in intercollegiate athletics are excited to welcome the sailing team to the Eckerd Athletics Department," Fortosis said. “They are impressive athletes and exemplary young men and women both inside the classroom, on campus and in our community."

Interim Head Coach Zack Marks, a former sailing All-American at the University of South Florida, echoed the same statement as the Tritons prepare to merge.

"I think it's going to be a great transition because we have 100 percent support from the athletics department," Marks said. "Everyone on the team is excited to be treated as a student-athlete."

"We're trending upward and moving forward, we need to establish some goals with the team," he continued. "We will attract some sailors coming in. We want to make sure we're ranked to help keep our name out there."

Marks helped guide the women's program to its third consecutive ICSA national finals appearance in recent history, navigating the Tritons to 11th in Austin, Texas. During semifinal competition in the same trip, Eckerd placed ninth to qualify for the finals.

The Tritons have appeared in the national rankings regularly and with the combination of the waterfront on-campus facilities and Wallace Boathouse, Eckerd has the foundation to sustain excellence for years to come.

The Wallace Boathouse is home to a dozen 420's (centimeters long) and all boats have been matched with new sails.

Both sailing programs will continue to compete as a conference member of the South Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association (SAISA) in the Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA).

Competition begins in September and extends through the spring.

The Tritons graduated a considerable number from their senior class, including captain Jeff Hahl '12, but return good crews leadership. A strong contingent of sophomores will take on increased roles with the freshmen numbers still to be determined.

Kevin Reali has already been appointed head coach of the sailing program and he is assembling his staff for his first season at the helm.

The 2012-13 fall portion of the schedule has already been released and can be viewed here (for coed) and here (for women's).

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