RE’s sailing program sends five more REcruited athletes to top colleges

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RE Athletics

Four REcruited sailors pose in the gym on “signing day.”

RE athletes in the Class of 2021 will disperse across the country as they seek to take the next step in their athletic careersThis senior class has an especially large number of students who have been recruited for college athletics, including Lucas Ortiz ‘21, who will play basketball at Case Western Reserve University, and Helaina Harris ‘21, who will play lacrosse at Northwestern University. However, there is one sport at RE that always seems to attract the attention of top colleges across the country during the recruiting process: sailing. 

With our upper school campus located directly on Biscayne Bay, sailing forms a large part of RE’s identity. When walking through the halls of the athletic department one can see pictures of Paul Ransom and his students sailing on the bay that date back to the early 20th century. The gymnasium is named after legendary sailor and Ransom Everglades alum Henry Anderson ‘38. 

RE’s affinity for sailing is no secret. Every year, incoming freshmen learn the basics of sailing in their physical education curriculum. Students at RE appreciate this unique privilege that students at other high school students do not have. “Learning sailing during PE has opened my eyes to a wonderful sport that I would’ve never considered trying,” Alec Stein ‘24 said.  

Nevertheless, some students are better than others at the sport, and RE’s graduating classes always yield a few sailors recruited to sail in college. The Class of 2021 is no exception. Five students have been admitted to colleges where they will join the sailing team: Nicolas Echarte ‘21 at Tufts University, Louis Lafontisee ‘21 at Tulane University, Liam O’Keefe ‘21 at Brown University, and Hannah Bast ‘21 and Javier Garcon ‘21, who will both attend the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. 

This impressive accomplishment stems in part from the addition of Captain Joe Logan to RE’s sailing program, who has played a large part in its development. 

Captain Logan grew up in Coral Gables in what he referred to as “an old Miami family. He attended Coral Gables High School like his father did before him. As a young sailor in Coral Gables, he knew many RE students. This connection played a role in his decision to come back to Miami and look for a job as a sailing instructor. After working in North Carolina for a catamaran company, he began the next chapter of his career. With a master’s degree in education, he enthusiastically applied for a job at RE.

“I love to teach. It was a perfect fit for me to teach sailing here, Captain Logan said.  

Since Captain Logan’s arrival, the sailing program has developed rapidly. However, Captain Logan made it clear that he is not entirely responsible for the program’s growth. Instead, he cited the yacht clubs and sailing centers with junior sailing programs in South Florida as the largest factor. Captain Logan explained that South Florida has some of the best junior sailing teams in the world, which attract many of the country’s top recruits because sailors here can train year-roundWith all the competitions hosted in South Florida, many college recruitment offices send scouts to the regattas. Junior sailors do not just practice here to improve; they sail here to showcase their skills. 

Lachlain McGranahan ‘20 is a perfect example of a sailor who relocated to train in South Florida. McGranahan, now sailing at Harvard University, is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He explained that throughout his middle school and high school years, he would fly down to Miami for two to three weekends per month to practice and compete in regattas. His family finally decided to relocate permanently to Coconut Grove for McGranahan’s junior year so that he could focus more on his sailing.  

“When looking at schools, the two most important things for me were strong academic rigor and a competitive high school sailing team, both of which Ransom had,” McGranahan remarked. McGranahan was among the most sought-after recruits in his class.  

The sailing program at RE does not just attract talented junior sailors; it also develops them. Captain Logan mentioned Hannah Bast’s recruitment to the University of Pennsylvania as one of his proudest accomplishments as a sailing instructor.  

Bast joined the program in her freshman year with little sailing experience. Captain Logan described her as a driven sailor who gave everything to improve. What set Bast apart from the other members on the team was the fact that she did not do club sailing; she only trained with RE. This meant that she depended solely on our school’s sailing program to develop and eventually be recruited. “The team’s unity and bond made me into the sailor I am,” Bast said.  

Captain Logan believes that Bast’s growth as a sailor in just three years shows the sailing program’s strength. RE’s sailing program continues to attract the attention of top colleges because of its burgeoning reputation of developing skilled student-athletes 

Captain Logan said that he has seen the team grow from 12 members when he first started to 26 this year. With results like these, the sailing program at RE seems destined to keep growing and growing.