Freshman Wynslow Wilmot wades her way into the world of sailing, after competing nationally at MG National Junior Olympics last summer, where she placed eighth out of more than 20 teams in her regatta.
Despite her sailing talents, Wilmot competes with local private school Rolling Hills Prep and Renaissance Schools during the high school season since Costa does not have a legitimized sailing team, due to legal and liability issues.
“I’m trying to start up a sailing team because I’ve been forced to sail with other schools, just so I can do what I love and sail,” Wilmot said. “It would just be easier, [and] students could earn Athletic credit, and learn to sail and just have fun.”
Wilmot began sailing after moving from Sherman Oaks to Manhattan Beach when she was 13 years old. According to Wilmot, she is not athletically inclined and didn’t fit in with any other sports, until she tried sailing.
“You get to meet so many fun and interesting people, and even if you don’t know anything about sailing, figuring sailing out as a sport is worth it.” Wilson said.
Wilmot competes for the King Harbor Youth Foundation’s Race Team, who practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays in King Harbor. She spends around 10 hours out on the water sailing practicing for competitions. According to Wilmot, sailing is more of a brain sport because it makes people strategize to be a good sailor.
“The Junior Olympics was my first huge regatta,” Wilmot said. “It was tons of fun. My partner and I met tons of new people. When you’re on the water they’re your competitors, but after the regatta they’re your friends.”
Wilmot typically competes with Club 420 and San Juan 21 sailboats. Club 420s are used for the basis of many high school and collegiate programs, while San Juan 21s can either be used for leisure or performance sailing.
“Each boat has different events,” Wilmot said. ”For the boats that I sail, there are about 4 regattas a year each, but the summer season is definitely the most competitive. For nationals and Junior Olympics, and you definitely have more freedom in choosing what boats you sail and for what events.”
Although she’s only a freshman, Wilmot plans to sail at a collegiate level after graduating from Costa. Collegiate sailing teams travel a lot more than high school teams, which is very intriguing, Wilmot said.
“I know that to some people, sailing seems like a scary sport that involves using a lot of time,” Wilmot said. “It is, but sailing is such a rewarding sport.”
Q&A with Wynslow Wilmot
La Vista: Who’s your sailing inspiration?
Wilmot: Laura Dekker, she started sailing when she was 14 years old, and she was the youngest person to sail around the world by herself. I think it’s so cool that someone my age got to see the world and meet so many different people just from sailing, and even grew up that way.
La Vista: What inspired you to start sailing?
Wilmot: I have two cousins who sail, and they won an all girls regatta all by themselves. They are so fierce and powerful, and I decided to start sailing because of them.
La Vista: What do you love the most about sailing?
Wilmot: The people that I get to meet.
La Vista: Where’s your favorite place to sail and why?
Wilmot: San Francisco because terrifying but also exhilarating.
La Vista: Do you play any other sports?
Wilmot: I’m currently swimming in the mornings for zero period and I plan to try out and make the team during tryouts on January 13th.