Senior Andy Strike wasn’t looking for a traditional athletic experience when he came to Tam his freshman year. “It was a unique opportunity that most people don’t get to do in high school, so I figured I should take advantage of it.” Since then, Strike has sailed every year, and is now a team captain, along with senior Haydn Potter
Starting freshman year, sailing has helped Strike mature. Originally nervous about capsizing and other possible issue on the water, he now sails with confidence. “It helps build strong personality traits that can only be acquired through activities that require lots of focus and dedication, like sailing.” This confidence, he says, has affected all aspects of his life. As a captain now, he can help other younger sailors on and off the water. He’s able to help students tackle challenges and overcome fears in the same way he did. Taking on more responsibility has been a natural progression for Strike.
Though he isn’t playing a traditional sport, Strike still faces the challenge of balancing school and athletics. Practices are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday after school until 6:30, leaving little time to complete homework and projects. However, he’s gotten better at balancing the two. “It’s not that hard anymore now that I’m a senior, but junior year, it was pretty hard,” he says. On race weekends, the sailing team drives, or even flies, to races all up and down the California coast. They are gone for the whole weekend, so being strategic about homework is critical. For Strike, this means taking advantage of any spare time. He chuckles, “There’s a picture of me with an SAT prep book, sitting on the beach waiting to go out sailing.”
This summer, Strike will be travelling to Portugal to sail. The trip is part of an exchange program that the Tam Sailing team has been a part of since last summer, when a group of Portuguese high schoolers stayed with Tam students and sailed with the team. Strike hosted a student, and is excited to visit the Portuguese students in their home country, and experience a new place.
Strike encourages anyone considering it to join, regardless of experience. “I had basically no sailing experience when I joined the team, but you learn quickly, and then you start competing in races.” However, it isn’t for everyone. “You have to be willing to take yourself out of your comfort zone and make an effort to learn new skills.”