Security Note: The secure parts of this site use certificates from InCommon, which should be trusted by your web browser. If you have problems, please contact the webmaster.

2007 Pavilion Year in Review

Thu 28-Feb-200809:30-09:30



As MIT sailing had a spectacular year in 2007, we are taking this opportunity to reflect on the past season's accomplishments. A magic combination of great weather, fantastic volunteers, and enthusiastic sailors made for a record setting year of enjoyment of the Sailing Program at MIT. The Sailing Pavilion issued over 1800 sailing cards this past year and recreational sailing hours were available from noon to sunset every day of the week from April to November as well as 'til midnight on each full moon. Our sailing card membership is up 38% over last year at this same point in time. 


Pavilion photos, course material, history, calendar, gallery including Jack Wood’s films and memories, reservations and current wind conditions are available on line at 


MIT's largest student-run club is going strong. It is testament to the many dedicated and selfless volunteers and staff members that almost 20% of all grad and undergrad students learn how to sail while enrolled at MIT. MITNA continued its tradition of service and support to the Institute's community with another great season of volunteer organized and run beginner sailing lessons. Twice a week the MITNA volunteers taught students and other members of the MIT community how to sail for free. Others learned how to sail in the Physical Education classes as well as during Summer Day Camp sessions.

MITNA recently elected new officers at the annual Meeting in November. Alvar Saenz-Otero implemented a new on-line membership system which allows us to track ratings and issue sailing cards much more easily than ever before. We can enroll people and collect entry fees electronically for all of the external events that we manage. The pavilion has become a popular spot for party rentals on campus and all of that supplemental revenue assists the operational budget directly.


Team rosters with hometowns, individual regatta results, pictures and more info may be viewed at
If you ever participated in the February practices, you will remember MIT's longstanding tradition of dodging icebergs while the river's ice floe broke apart. Well, it's one tradition that has gone unchanged. The spring of 2007 began with two of our team members featured in full color on the front page of the Boston Globe (above the fold) doing FJ roll-tacks in February in a small unfrozen section of the river. After the ice melted, the team was able to get back to full practices.

For the spring season, the co-ed team focused on team racing and the women's team concentrated on fleet racing. New head coaches, Matty Cohen and Matt Lindblad, took 18 sailors on a spring training trip to the US Naval Academy (made possible by a generous donation from Madine Head). Everyone had a great time, got a lot closer as a team, and showed huge improvements in their sailing. They had a great visit with alumnus, Drew Mutch '98 at his engineering firm Mapcorp in Baltimore. The trip resulted in a summer internship for junior Jake Muhleman. Back in Cambridge, the team made a great effort to attract new sailors through CPW recruiting and garnering interest from their friends around campus as well as the very popular physical education classes.

The Beaver's capped off the spring season with a 9th place finish at the New England Coed Championship and 10th place finish at the Jerry Reed Trophy Women's New England Championship. The co-ed team finished the 06-07 season ranked 18th in the Sailing World Top 20 National Rankings.

Junior team captain Jack Field was honored by being named to the All-NEISA second team, but more impressively was voted by New England sailors as the New England Sportsman of the Year. This puts Jack along with other recent MIT sportsmanship winners Alan Sun '01 (Hobbs Trophy '01) and JM Modisette '05(Hobbs Trophy '05). Team captains Jack Field and Julie Arsenault were named to the ICSA All-Academic team for excellent performance in the classroom as well as on the water.

Despite the loss of a great group of senior team leaders and sailors who were very instrumental in training and teaching younger sailors, the team came into the fall of 2007 excited to challenge themselves. Both the co-ed and women's teams felt their spring results were below their potential so they spent a lot of time setting goals for the fall season. Some of the goals were to improve overall team fitness, recruit and retain new sailors, and foster fun and bonding within the team. The team hit the ground running with a full week of pre-season training in August before classes started. Due to the efforts in the spring, 12 new freshman and sophomore sailors joined the Sailing Team for pre-season, which allowed them to really learn the basics before class started.

In the fall, the team started working with the MIT strength and conditioning coach. The team lifted from 8-10am twice a week to make sure they were in great shape for sailing. Practice attendance was robust this fall as well, with 16 MIT boats at daily practice the week before the Schell Trophy in late October. Team Captains Jack Field and Julie Arsenault and Women's captain Libby Palmer did a great job in working together to make sure new sailors learned and had fun with sailing. The team added 17 new sailors bringing the official team size up to 37 committed varsity sailors.

The hard work of the team paid off with great regatta results including regatta wins at the Smith Trophy and the Schell Trophy (first time in 27 years.) The co-ed team also had top finishes at the Captain Hurst Bowl and in Invites and the Crews regatta at MIT. The co-ed team finished 11th at the Atlantic Coast Championships at Eckerd College in Florida. Our women's team won A division at the Man Labs Trophy and were one spot away from qualifying for Women's Atlantic Coast Championships at both the Stu Nelson and Victorian Urn Trophies.

The women's team received votes for the top 15 women's national rankings and finished ranked 10th in New England, just outside the national top 15 rankings. The coed team entered the season as the 10th ranked team in the country. Their highest ranking was 8th and they ended the season as the 11th ranked team in the country and 6th in the New England Conference. Senior captains Jack Field and Julie Arsenault were named NEISA sailors of the week for the week of October 28th for their second place finish in A division to lead the Beavers to the overall win at the Schell Trophy.

The MIT Sailing Team is looking forward to a great spring featuring a revised "tournament style" national championship format new to the ICSA this year. This format will allow 9 teams from New England to gain a berth to a National Semi-Final round, with the top 9 teams from that regatta moving on to compete for the National Championships in Newport, RI at the end of May. This new format will require significantly more travel funding for two rounds of nationals as well as out of district training for the whole team. This spring, the team will train again at the US Naval Academy for a week in March and is putting in three afternoons per week during the winter in land based fitness and classroom instruction.


The commitment to community service at the Jack Wood Pavilion is still strong through hosting: the Mass Special Olympics, ROTC's Beaver Cup, the Massachusetts High School State Championships, the Mass Bay Youth Championships (under-19), the Mass Bay Junior Championship under-14 for the Jack Wood Trophy, (won this year by Tucker Charles).

For MIT's community, the pavilion also hosted the Total Regatta for MIT graduate and undergraduate sailors, the Brass Rat and Sir Ian MacFarlane regattas for alumni and undergraduate racers, as well as the world's largest team race regatta with 42 teams and 492 races in one weekend called the Charles River Open. The MIT Sailing Pavilion hosted more intercollegiate races than any other school in North America which included over 24 weekend days of competition throughout the year.

Over 17 academic research projects used the sailing pavilion as their laboratory on the River during this past year. Not only do the Ocean Engineers spend time teaching classes and testing automated underwater vehicles but we have had Environmental Classes which focus on thermal plumes in the River, acoustic experiments using side scan and during the 2008 spring semester a course has been designed in Civil Engineering to design a renovated sailing facility that is carbon neutral. This group is working closely with Environmental as well as the Department of Facilities at MIT. 


Equipment upgrades during this past year involved the following items:

  • New Rhodes 19 mainsails
  • New Tech mainsails
  • Replacement of fatigued lifejackets
  • Two safety launch engines replaced
  • Receipt of a Tartan 37 cruising boat from Ralph Reis
  • Receipt of a Seaway 24 motorboat from Steven Lindblad
  • Receipt of an Etchells Racing Sloop from Bill and Sheila Widnall

Over the next three years we are planning to renew all of the sailing fleets at MIT and rededicate them on a new floating dock system. Please check out the sailing website for more details as we continue to rely on your contributions entirely for all sailing equipment.


Generous annual gifts sustain this gem of a program as well as replenish the fleet and assist the sailing teams. Your support keeps us afloat. A group of dedicated sailing alumni started a process three years ago to initiate a plan of study to renew the facility as well as the dock system and fleet. The entire project is very close to being approved by the Institute and we look forward to sharing with you the vision of sustaining the sailing program for another 75 years.
      There will be much more news in the near future about the details, targets and implementation planning. Douglas DeCouto is organizing a core group of sailing alums to work on behalf of the sailing program. If you're interested in becoming a member of Doug's Committee please contact him directly at Douglas S. J. De Couto [].    


All is well with both of these legendary figures of MIT Sailing. Hatch and Clair are residing in Winthrop and Hatch spends much of his free time running frostbite races in the winter and assisting with the junior program in the summer months. Stuie and Judy tear up the slopes of New Hampshire whenever they're not ice boating on the ponds and lakes of New England. Needless to say Stuie is still comfortable windsurfing and touring on his bike near their home in Laconia, NH. 


Unfortunately MITNA said goodbye to some key members this year. First and foremost, Dwight Brown moved on to Princeton with his wife Rachel after many years of service to the Sailing Pavilion. They were sent off with a rip roaring goodbye party at the Sailing Pavilion in November. Dwight was honored with the newly named Dwight K. Brown Service award for appreciation of his years of dedication to teaching beginner sailors at the Pavilion. This award will be given annually to the MITNA volunteer who best exemplifies the high standards set by Dwight in his 35 year tenure at the Pavilion.

Also leaving Cambridge were former MITNA Commodores Iason Hatzakis and Pat Lam who graduated (finally) from their PHD programs. Iason moved back to Greece where he will no doubt miss the Charles River terribly and have to suffer through his sailing on the Mediterranean Sea. Also, long time pavilion volunteer Claudio Cairoli is spending his next few years working with the Oracle America's Cup campaign in Switzerland, continuing the long tradition of MIT's involvement in the America's Cup, dating all the way back to J-class designer Nathaniel G. Herreshoff '69 (that's 1869!) 


Please contact us if you'd like to have a reunion party at the sailing pavilion. It's a fun place to renew friendships and your old sailing card will always be on file for you to use whenever you get to town.  It appears that Saturday afternoon June 7th is fairly open for those classes having Tech reunions and we'd love to see you stop by anytime on that weekend and take a boat out for a spin.

For the racers we will hold the Third Annual MIT Championship for the Sir Ian MacFarlane Trophy on the Saturday of Columbus Day weekend on 10/ 11. Registration is free for alumni and you are welcome to stay for Sunday's racing for the 16th Annual Brass Rat.

Francis Charles
MIT Sailing Master
'Jack Wood' Sailing Pavilion
3 Ames Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
T- 617-253-2875
W- 617-253-4884
C- 857-221-0828


Questions about this event should be directed to the organizer(s): Fran Charles

Updated: 2014/05/04 19:06:46
Updated: 2014/05/04 19:06:46