Former Olympic coach and 12-time U.S. Sailing team member Jonathan Farrar, Northeastern’s new head sailing coach, rips apart the myth that sailing is easy. “It’s a mental sport,” he says. “We are constantly analyzing the wind and altering angles. Sailors also need to be physically fit, strong, and agile to endure long days on the water.”
“A couple of classes will teach the basics. The rest comes with practice.”
Off the Boat
Dinghy sailors are fairly small, so focus on maintaining size, rather than building muscle, with a training regimen that consists of agility, coordination, and balance exercises. Body-strength symmetry is also important. Strengthen the upper, lower, and core muscles with medicine-ball exercises like squats, lunges, throws, and ab twists. Wall sits work quads. And cable pulls—higher reps at lower weights—are crucial for building the powerful arms needed for sailing. If you don’t have access to a gym, resistance bands are a great alternative to weights. Oh, and knowing how to swim—and swim well—is a prerequisite.
Prep for all conditions by layering extra clothing. Lycra undershorts, leggings, and a fast-drying shirt are good options.
Boston Harbor Sailing Club
$799 for a beginner clinic, bostonharborsailing.com.
Boston Sailing Center
$850 for an advanced clinic, bostonsailingcenter.com.
Check out “Home Team Workouts” to find out how other college teams in Boston get fit.