Sailing clubs and teams at approximately thirty different colleges and universities in the Midwest belong to the MCSA. These schools claim over 3000 individual members and own over 325 boats. Geographically, the MCSA ranges from western Pennsylvania to between Missouri and Minnesota and from Kentucky north into Canada. Member clubs provide a wide variety of sailing opportunities, including double-handed dinghy, single-handed dinghy, team racing, intermediate sloop, and offshore competition. Since most clubs have members of various experience levels, they offer lessons, recreational sailing and racing opportunities.
The MCSA believes that intercollegiate sailing in the Midwest offers the best opportunity for students to participate in a sport which will provide them with skills they can use for the rest of their lives, a chance to start life-long friendships, and most of all, the chance to have some FUN when they need to take a break from their studies.
The MCSA hosts a large number of regattas throughout the year. MCSA teams can attend nearly one-hundred regattas across the nation, including about thirty events held in-district, yearly. Collegiate sailors can participate in as many or as few regattas as their academic program will permit. Regattas generally occur in Spring season from the middle of March to Memorial Day and Fall season from Labor Day to Thanksgiving weekend.
The racing program allows the beginner an opportunity to learn how to sail and eventually how to race. It also provides superior sailors with challenging competitors and courses. Through intersectional, district, and national championship events, the competitive sailor has plenty of opportunities to sharpen his or her skills. Since the MCSA is a large district whose clubs are composed of a high number of beginner and recreational sailors, competitive sailors who choose to attend our schools have greater accessibility to national events than in some other collegiate districts.
In addition to racing benefits, the MCSA offers collegiate sailors an opportunity to learn the techniques of regatta management, as most of the MCSA’s regattas are completely run by undergraduates. The MCSA also offers clinics and educational programs for its members. By attending regattas, clinics, and meetings, collegiates get the opportunity to travel throughout the nation to visit other campuses and sailing sites.
Inter-Collegiate sailing has a unique position in the sport of sailing and in its position with other sports programs. Collegiate sailing offers students a link between junior programs and senior membership at yacht clubs by helping develop superior skills. Intercollegiate sailing is one of the few sports where women and men have always competed equally.
The Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association, (ICSA), sponsors co-ed and women’s events. In intercollegiate sailing, the competitors have a large influence over the administration of the sport. Collegiate sailors govern it through district and national organizations. Both undergraduates and alumni serve the ICSA, which has produced the leaders of countless one-design class and offshore sailing organizations. Most Olympic sailors and America’s Cup competitors have competed in intercollegiate sailing. The late Sir Peter Blake, J.J. Isler, Peter Isler, Gary Jobson, Dave Perry, Tucker Thompson, and Ted Turner are all college sailing alumni.
MCSA Member School alumni include: Elizabeth Altman, the late Peter Barrett, Bill Bentsen, Tom Ehman, Jr., Greg Fisher, Derrick Fries, Bruce Goldsmith, Nancy Haberland, Peter Harken, Pat Healy, Timothea Larr, Bruce Marek, Bruce Nelson, Joni Palmer, Buzz Reynolds, Bill Reichel, Eric Schlageter, and Dick Stearns, to name but a few.
The MCSA encourages all young sailors to get involved in intercollegiate sailing at their college or university. If your school does not have a sailing program, please contact the MCSA for information on how to start one (it’s easy). If you would like more information on a specific member school, please contact the MCSA. A complete listing of the current year’s MCSA Member Schools can be found on our website.
MCSA members participate in MCSA sanctioned events, receive our newsletter, The Tell Tale, and vote on MCSA business at the Annual Meeting each February Members also receive services from the Executive Board including: publicity for their events in national sailing publications, copies of our policy manual, The Black Book, assistance with scheduling events at their campus, assistance attending events, and general guidance.