Chatham High Does Have a Sailing Team and Yes, it is a Sport

Members of the Chatham High Sailing Team in San Diego, where they placed 12th in a Regatta held there. L to r: Stephanie Gilsenan, Marisa Marino, Grace Evans and Jillian Torrente

CHATHAM, NJ - Four Chatham High seniors went "hiking" in San Diego recently.

But it wasn't the kind of hiking most people think about. It was the hiking sailors do when they're trying to even out a boat, holding on and leaning over the water to put their body weight as far upwind as possible.

"The idea is to keep the boat flat," Marisa Marino said. "A flat boat is a fast boat."

Sign Up for E-News

Chatham High's sailing team is now in its fourth year and this month four of its members - Grace Evans, Stephanie Gilsenan, Marisa Marino and Jillian Torrente - spent four days in San Diego competing in a national invitational regatta held at the San Diego Yacht Club.

The Lady Cougars were the only representatives from New Jersey and placed 12th out of 16 teams. Marino skippered the Chatham A boat with Gilsenan, and Torrente skippered the B boat with Evans.

Chatham High currently has 18 members on the co-ed sailing team, including two freshmen, nine sophomores, two juniors and five seniors.

"People also don't realize that sailing is most definitely a sport," Marino said. "When people think of sailing they think of people lounging on a boat during vacation. Not only is it a physical sport, but it's a mental sport because the conditions are constantly changing out on the water, so you have to think about the wind, the current, the course. There are so many factors that contribute to coming in first or last."

Marino and Gilsenan are two of the original members of the team. Gilsenan was recruited because the team needed another body to sail in one of the two-person sailboats.

"What shocked me is how much thinking is involved," Gilsenan said. "I thought it would be like track where you just run."

Evans had learned to sail in Bay Head when she was younger, and got back into it with the CHS team. Torrente moved from Chatham to California, where she learned to sail, and then moved back to Chatham and got involved with the team.

The team practices twice a week in Perth Amboy and competes in Regattas on weekends on the Raritan River and in Toms River. The fall season runs through Nov. 6 and then picks up again around March for spring.

"Sailing is a lifetime sport," Marino said. "You're always learning something. Your knowledge of sailing never ends."

Students and teachers at the high school are starting to learn more about the team. And the girls came in contact with people in San Diego who knew of Chatham High.

"One girl's mom had gone to Chatham High," Evans said. "Usually, people ask us if we're from Chatham, Massacusetts."

Chatham High sailing team members talk about the team and recent regatta in San Diego, l to r: Grace Evans, Stephanie Gilsenan, Marisa Marino and Jillian Torrente


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Mike Czech – One of Chatham’s Hidden Gems….

On a warm sunny day, back in 2008, at Southern Boulevard Elementary School stood a very tall man (6.5” to be exact!), soft-spoken, warm and friendly as he was surrounded by a whole group of children running around him (at his knees).

His name was Mike Czech and he was teaching the kids how to play a game on the open court.   I introduced myself to help assist him as a fellow ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!


Chatham United Methodist Church Confirms 11

May 27, 2018

The Chatham United Methodist Church confirmed 11 young disciples on Sunday, May 20th. The youth spent a year-long journey studying the bible, the works of Methodist founder John Wesley, touring churches in NJ and PA to better understand their faith, volunteering for community missions, and writing prayers, selecting lectionary readings  and presenting the service to the ...