What is the schedule and time commitment? 
We run four practices per week and sailors are required to attend two. Practices run from 3:30 pm until sunset and we leave the downtown campus at 2:30 pm. The season runs from the first week of September to the first week of November, and we also send teams to regattas in the spring and summer. Sailors are also guaranteed at least two weekend regattas during the fall season, which consist of driving to the host club Friday night, racing Saturday and Sunday, and driving home Sunday evening. Additionally, sailors are expected to volunteer at two to three events in-season, and are expected to participate in morning workouts in the offseason.

What is the typical structure of a collegiate regatta? 
We typically send two teams (four people) to each regatta – each pair is either assigned to ‘A Fleet’ or ‘B Fleet’. The ‘A Fleet’ team will race two races against the other schools’ ‘A Fleet’ teams, then head in and ‘B Fleet’ will head out to race two races. The two teams will alternate racing. Each fleet typically races between 6 and 10 races each day. Albeit a less common occurrence, we also send teams to keelboat and team race regattas, which have less consistent structures.

What is the typical structure of a collegiate race?
Rather than having a few longer races, collegiate racing aims to complete as many short races throughout the course of a regatta. As a result, racing typically involves very close fleets. Races are typically around 20 minutes long and use a 3-minute start sequence. They tend to follow windward-leeward courses with occasional reach/offset marks included. There are no drop races, so the most consistent sailors are rewarded throughout a regatta.

Does the McGill Sailing Team accept graduate students? 
No. Unfortunately, the team is exclusively for undergraduate students. 

Do I need sailing experience to join the team? 
Yes. We do sometimes accept sailors who have minimal or no prior racing experience, but sailing experience is necessary. If you are interested in learning to sail, we have a learn-to-sail program that runs during the fall! 

I want to participate in collegiate racing — why should I choose McGill? 

  1. CICSA. We are currently the second ranked team in Canada for collegiate racing, and have won the last four Fleet Race National Championships.
  2. NEISA. NEISA (New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association) is the most competitive circuit in collegiate sailing, home to nine of the top 20 teams in North America. NEISA regattas offer extremely competitive racing and really good opportunities for our sailors to improve through competitions. 
  3. Community. The McGill Sailing Team is a family. On top of practices and regattas, we have bi-weekly ‘family nights’, an annual ski trip, study groups, an intramural water polo team, and much, much more. 

Do I need to pay to be on the team? 
Yes. We are an entirely self-funded team. Team dues are usually around $800 annually and cover: a year-long membership to the Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club, transportation and accommodation at all regattas, boat repair, coaching, and other assorted costs. However, we do recognize that it is not within everyone’s ability to pay full team dues — if the cost is an issue for you, please let us know and we will work something out.