Freshmen & New Member Information

Welcome to URI!!!

We all remember how intimidating entering college can be so we figured we would try and make it as easy as possible. Incoming team members usually have lots of questions and often wonder, out of all this information that is thrown at you, what is important. Well we can help, below is a list of important things along with some frequently asked questions, which should offer some incite. If the information here is not sufficient or your have a different question please feel free to contact the coach, Skip Whyte (skip_whyte@uri.edu).

  • We want to get to know you.
    – If you haven’t filled out a recruitment form please do. The information is sent directly to our coach, that way he has all the vital information about incoming team members, along with their contact information, that way he can keep them updated with all the team news. If you have a sailing resume it certainly doesn’t hurt to send that too. And of course, stay in touch, we love to hear from you.
  • Get oriented early
    – The University offers a variety of orientation dates and it is often hard to decide when the best time is. We suggest earlier is better, especially when it comes to planning a course schedule that fits to our practice times. The later you are in orientation the fewer seats that are available in classes. It is not a big deal if you can’t attend an early orientation; we just find it makes picking classes a much easier.
  • Keep your afternoons open.
    – The team practices Tuesday through Friday and we hit the water at 3pm. No one is expected to make more than 3 practices per week. It is important to sign up for your classes as early as possible to maximize opportunities to schedule early sections.  This may mean taking an 8 a.m. section of a class instead of a 3 p.m. section or taking a late lab on Monday instead of Wednesday. Try your best to put the puzzle of your academic schedule together so that your afternoons are open for sailing practice.
  • Do you have what it takes to be a Ram?
    – Only you can answer that, Coach Whyte won’t make that decision, unless you want him to. What I’m trying to say is there are NO TRYOUTS! Everyone is welcome; the only requirements we have is that you come open minded, try hard and want to do what you can to help the team. Whether you’re a rock star or you’ve never sailed before, you can be a part of this team.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I don’t have a car, so how will I get to practice?
    – The team car pools to practice and we try to leave no one behind. Anyone needing a ride is to meet at Freshmen Circle in front of Barlow and Adams Residents Halls (just down the hill from the Memorial Union). The team members with cars will wait at the circle to pickup those who need rides.
  • Is there a preseason that I can or need to attend?
    – There is no preseason training for freshmen or those new to the team. Official practice begins on Wednesday September 9, the first day of classes, but most don’t attend till Friday September 11 after the first team meeting.
  • When is the first team meeting?
    – There is an important organizational meeting on Thursday of the first week of classes, typically in the Student Senate Chamber in the Union. At this time everything involving the team is discussed, questions are answered and new team members have an opportunity to meet and mingle with their new teammates. Following that first meeting, weekly meetings will be held at the same time and place but on a day TBD (which will be announced at the first meeting). These meeting are very important as things like past events, the upcoming week, future goals amongst a variety of other things are discussed and gone over.
  • U. Rhode Island Sailing is a club sport, how does this affect the team?
    – Though it would seem to have a huge impact, it really doesn’t. We compete against all the top varsity programs, continually are ranked with in the top 20 nationally, travel and compete as much as any other team and have a full time head coach that manages as if we were a varsity sport.
  • I want to prepare myself for sailing on the team; what should I do this summer?
    – Any kind of sailing will help but sailing double-handed or single-handed dinghies in a competitive environment is the best. Here at URI we sail FJs but practicing on a 420 or Vanguard 15 will definitely help. College sailing focuses on only two sails (main and jib), boat handling and quick decision making due to the short course. Finding a local pickup team race or event will directly improve your skills and is one way that most URI sailors stay sharp through the summer months.
  • I’ve never sailed before; can I still be part of the team?
    – Absolutely. We are always looking for people who are excited to learn about sailing and be part of the team. Bring yourself along with an open mind and a willingness to learn, as well some clothes and sneakers that can get wet, to practice. In fact, many past and present team members had limited sailing experience before college and are now well respected for their skills.
  •  have more questions, who do I ask?
    Your best choice is to ask our Coach. Skip never misses an email and always tries to answer in a timely fashion. His experience doesn’t just include coaching the URI team, but includes 40 years of experience coaching everything from Junior Sailing to the Olympics.  Skip is also a URI alumnus and was an All American. If you want a different perspective, there are also our Team Captains: Matt Wordell: matt.wordell@gmail.com or Rachel Bryer: rachel_bryer@my.uri.edu .

Skip Whyte
Head Coach
Email: skip_whyte@uri.edu

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