SBU Sailing is a group of students who look to enjoy and share the sport of sailing. Sailing Team provides SUNY Stony Brook students the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of sailing in a land-based educational setting. Members will learn boating terminology the rules of intercollegiate competitive racing theory and proper safety practices. The ultimate goal of the club is to develop a water-based sailing program that will allow SBU students to sail on a competitive team.
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President: Cody Murphy
Stony Brook Sailing Reaches New Heights
By Tom Cullen / November 30, 2015
The Sailing team reached new levels of success when it came in third at the Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association Conference Club Championship on Nov. 7 and Nov. 8.
The Sailing team, part of the larger Sailing Club, faces other schools in competitions, or regattas.
“We have a competitive side to the team,” coach Geoffrey Loffredo said. “But we also have a recreational side to the team for people who want to learn sailing or just have the opportunity to go sailing.”
As coach, Loffredo is in charge of running team practices, scheduling regattas, maintaining the equipment and boats and teaching the art of sailing.
Jason Rose, the sailing team’s Program Director and Faculty Advisor, is also there to help.
He runs all the administration for the club, manages business on campus, promotes the team and recruits new members.
“He’s a big supportive person of the team and someone who really provides us with a lot of guidance,” Loffredo said.
In addition, the team is aided by President Cody Murphy, a senior electrical engineering major, in his third year with the team.
Murphy helps organize the team and makes sure everything is running smoothly.
The three of them have helped make Stony Brook’s sailors a contending force in regattas. Each season, the sailors’ results have improved, allowing them to compete against higher-end schools.
“The Conference is made up of 54 teams,” Murphy said. “42 of them are club teams, and out of 42, we’re third.”
The third place finish earlier this month was the team’s best by far in competition this year in regattas against at least 18 teams, with Stony Brook’s previous best being ninth at the Jack Boehringer ‘52 Memorial Regatta in September.
Loffredo has been an integral part of this success.
“It’s really our coach, Coach Loffredo,” Rose said. “When he came on, we immediately started getting better. Every semester with him at the helm, we have been progressively increasing our rankings and reputation.”
According to Murphy, Loffredo drives 40 minutes each way to host two to three hour-long practices five or six days a week. But he isn’t the only one who shows dedication.
“We have a lot of really dedicated students on the team,” Loffredo said. “It was really nice to see all the time they put into it.”
Founded by four students and Rose, the team held its first practice in February of 2012. It has been growing in number and success ever since.
Around 80 individuals sailed with the team during this semester, with about 25 of them being active members who regularly competed in competitions.
“It’s just so rewarding to see the team so successful after basically starting with nothing,” Rose said.
The team hopes to qualify for the Spring Conference Championship and then qualify for Nationals from there. While this will not be an easy task, the belief is that it can be reached with time and practice.
The team also plans to do more fundraising so it will have the money to attend more regattas and practice against other sailors.
Furthermore, the team’s leadership hopes to continue expanding by recruiting new members.
“We’re raising awareness about the team,” Rose said. “I talk to people all the time who say, ‘I didn’t even know we had a sailing team.’ We’re gonna come up with strategies to promote the team even more.”
One of these strategies involves a new class at Stony Brook starting next semester. “Leadership and Service 102.28: Leadership Through Sailing” will be taught in the classroom by Rose, who is also a professor in the political science department. On-water sessions will be led by Loffredo.
“We basically show how sailing builds character and builds you as a leader,” Rose said.
You don’t need to have ever sailed before to take the class or to join the team.
“Sailing is actually a metaphor for life,” Rose said. “There are things in your life that you can’t control. Well in sailing it’s the same thing. You can’t control the winds that you’re given, but you can control how you deal with them.”
By Jason Rose | July 8, 2014
Before 2011, young sailors entering college on Long Island found themselves leaving their homeports for New York City or for other colleges around the Northeast and around the country. Though many wanted to stay home and attend SUNY Stony Brook University (SBU) in Stony Brook because of its outstanding academics and reputation, they faced an important problem. Stony Brook had not had an active sailing team since 1980.
While there had been attempts to start a new team over the years, it was only in 2011 when four fiery and committed SBU undergraduates – Lauren Maloney, Rachel Berger, Kyle Buescher and Zachary Kyritsis – set out to establish a new team. The intensely resolute Maloney took the helm as president of a resurrected SBU Sailing Club and the “core-four” worked their rudders off, recruiting and establishing the Seawolves sailing team. Rob Crafa, the head of the SUNY Maritime Sailing Team, was an invaluable advisor to the team, even inviting team members to SUNY Maritime College in Throggs Neck, NY to see their operations.
Under Maloney the team started with no boats, no coach, no yacht club and no money. When she left the team and graduated in 2012, the team had a fleet of 11 420s, a superb coach, a home at a friendly yacht club, and a generous annual budget from the SBU Undergraduate Student Government.
In 2011, the team entered the Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Racing Association (MAISA), the regional conference for the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA), the national governing authority for college sailing competition in North America. The team’s very first event was the Storm Trysail Foundation’s Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta, a big boat event hosted by Larchmont Yacht Club, although their early MAISA regatta participation and success was limited.
In 2012, the team purchased Port Jefferson High School’s fleet of Club 420s, hired experienced sailing coach Geoffrey Loffredo, and was invited by the extraordinary sailing community at Setauket Yacht Club to base the university’s sailing operations at their facilities on Port Jefferson Harbor. That same year, undergraduate Zach Kyritsis took over as president. Under his and coach Loffredo’s leadership the team experienced stunning success. Varsity squad members Constantine Spentzos, Heather Grosso, Mary Loffredo, Cody Murphy and Kyritsis all had first place finishes in intercollegiate regattas. MAISA upgraded the team’s membership in the conference to compete in regional and national championship regattas and the team catapulted itself 21 places in the college rankings, from 43 to 22 during their spring campaign.
Much of the team’s success this year is due to coach Loffredo’s dedication and his ability to form a united, cohesive group of dedicated sailors. During the semester, he holds classroom instruction once per week and has three weekly practice days to help accommodate students with difficult schedules. The team’s Facebook page has post after post demonstrating how the team has bonded and how newcomers feel so welcome.
“This is the best group of people I’ve known in my life,” enthused Cody Murphy, a junior in the Engineering program and the current team president. “Not just great sailors, but great people. That’s more important! That’s why I love being around this group. Coach is amazing! The folks at Setauket Yacht Club are the best! And the team members are always there to help and support each other. I’m inspired every day and grateful to be part of the Stony Brook Sailing Team.”
Encouraged by Loffredo, team members who can sail, but have very little experience in college racing are cultivated by other team members. Ironically, some of the best sailors have turned out to be students who had never stepped onto a boat. Nikolas Floros, Alicia Elliot, Ken Myers and Audrey Sloma joined the team to broaden their horizons and have adventures. And even though none had been on a sailboat before joining the team last year, four months later they were some of the best sailors at intercollegiate regattas. In fact, Alicia confidently crewed during 35-knot gusts and six-foot waves at the Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta last October.
“The last regatta of this past semester, hosted by the U.S. Military Academy on the Hudson River, was one of the most satisfying experiences for me as a coach,” said Loffredo. “All of the team members we had racing were our newer, less experienced sailors and it was fantastic to see their improvement as sailors and as leaders from the beginning of the year.”
The Stony Brook Sailing Team has grown into a family and is now one of the most popular clubs and teams at the University. “If this past year is any indication, sailing has a very bright future at Stony Brook University,” said Loffredo. “I am extremely excited to be coaching this team and can’t wait to see what the future holds.”
From their base at Setauket Yacht Club, the team practices on Port Jefferson Harbor. © Lee Montes
Sailing Team Moves up 21 Places in Rankings
By MIKE DANIELLO | April 21, 2014
The Stony Brook University Sailing Team started this semester ranked 43rd out of 52 teams in the Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Racing Association (MAISA). As their successful spring season campaign winds down they are now ranked 22nd. The team qualified for the Second Tier Regional Conference Championships within MAISA. Stony Brook sent two teams to the North Spring Qualifier Regatta at Cornell University during the weekend of April 13-14. Varsity squad members Constantine Spentzos and Mary Loffredo sailed in A division and Heather Grosso and Cody Murphy tackled B division. There they qualified for the lower conference championship race, The Leroy Grant Regatta.
“We had ambitions of qualifying for the Upper Division Championship,” coach Geoff Loffredo said. “However it is a huge achievement just to be in the Conference Regionals.” At the Grant Regatta in Old Dominion University the Seawolves placed fifth overall and catapulted themselves in the college rankings from 43 to 22.
“The top twenty teams are really the elite teams in the conference. We really wanted to break the top 20 in rankings. But we had the biggest leap of any other team. We also have a very young team. All of our team members either had little to no sailing and racing experience before joining the team or had raced other boats in the past, but are entirely new to double-handed sailing and the short course format of college racing,” coach Loffredo said. “Many of the top teams at this event have sailors that were already established racers before entering college and have many semesters of college sailing under their belts. SBU has climbed to within reach of those teams and I’m personally proud of all our sailors. We are looking forward to climbing even higher in the Fall.”
April 22, 2014 —The credit for the photo in this article was previously attributed to the Stony Brook University Sailing Team. In response to a comment, the photo has been updated to credit Lee J. Montes, who took the photo during a sailing team practice.
SBU Sailing Team Takes 3rd Place in Spring Open
By MIKE DANIELLO | March 17, 2014
The Stony Brook University Sailing Team won its first, top-three overall finish on March 16 during the William and Mary Spring Open Regatta in Williamsburg, VA. SBU sent two teams to the open. Constantine Spentzos and Mary Loffredo took two first place wins and led the A-division heading into the final two races but had to settle for a second place finish second while the B-division team finished 8th.
“Our hard work is paying off” said team Coach Geoff Loffredo. “Every team member showed improvement over the weekend and this is the highest finish our team has achieved so far.” While taking 3rd place is a huge accomplishment for the young team, Coach Loffredo has loftier goals for the team to qualify for the regional championships this year.
Next up for the team is the North Spring Qualifier Regatta at Cornell University the weekend of April 12-13.