Launching the ships: Tulane sets sail

While Tulane students and faculty were busy preparing for another academic year, the Green Wave Athletics department has been hard at work setting up the launch of the new varsity sailing program. Tulane Athletics announced the program would be elevated to varsity status this past June and officially designated the venture as its 17th varsity sport in early July.

The sailing program’s inaugural roster encompasses a team of 31 17 women and 14 men. Members of the team hail from a total of 17 states ranging from Oregon to Massachusetts, making the program quite geographically diverse. The inaugural season of this varsity squad will be led by head coach Charles Higgins, a former assistant coach of 10 years at Old Dominion University.

Higgins is no stranger to success in the world of sailing. Under his wing, Old Dominion made 25 National Championship appearances, 15 of which resulted in top 10 finishes for the Monarchs. Furthermore, 17 of the student-athletes Higgins coached during his coaching tenure were given All-American honors.

The coach also maintains an extensive résumé  beyond his conventional collegiate coaching career. In the summer of 2017, Higgins was selected as coach of a team of U.S. All-Stars in the Intercollegiate Sailing Association’s biannual ICSA-BUSA tour. This team faced and ultimately defeated top collegiate-level British sailors, advancing to the LaserPerformance Collegiate Cup in Italy. There, Higgins also found success, leading the U.S. team to a first place finish over groups of sailors from across the globe.

Coach Higgins will have an opportunity to begin guiding his team to victory soon as the squad opens its competition season on Sept. 15 and 16 at the Seisa Singlehanded Championship in Galveston, Texas. Here, the Green Wave will face off with host school Texas A&M University and a multitude of other schools in its inaugural varsity competition.

Tulane will host its first varsity regatta shortly after when the team will take part in the Sugar Bowl Regatta on Sept. 22. Following this initial home event, Tulane will host the Baldwin Wood Regatta on Oct. 6 and the Tulane Women’s Regatta on Oct. 27. The Wave’s home events will be hosted on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain, where the team also holds practices.

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