Sports Spotlight: Chloe Holder sails her way to Tufts University

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Sports Spotlight: Chloe Holder sails her way to Tufts University

Ryo Weng

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The spray of salt water may remind many people of a relaxing tropical getaway. However, the mist blowing against senior Chloe Holder’s face is a common experience for this successful sailor.

Inspired by her father, who is also a sailor, Holder and her younger sister became involved in sailing when Holder was just nine. After her father introduced her to sailing, Holder fell in love with it.

 

Now she is ranked 10th in the nation for female skipper in Club 420’s and 50th for International 420’s (the types of boats she sails) and there is no doubt that Holder excels at sailing. As a committed athlete, Holder will be attending Tufts University next fall for sailing. Coaches from other universities such as Cornell, Georgetown and Tulane showed demonstrated interest in Holder as well, but she decided on Tufts as they have the nation’s biggest sailing program. Additionally, Holder was honored with becoming the St. Francis Yacht Club’s Junior Yachtswoman of the Year 2018 and recognized as the Top Womens Youth Sailor in the Star World Championship, where she finished in first place. She has also competed in other major regattas such as the C420 National Championship and the US Sailing Double Handed Championship to name a few. Her sailing career has been very decorated, but Holder still has some unfinished business before heading off to college.

 

“This summer, we’re [Holder and her crew] hoping to go to Portugal for the International 420 World Championships, but we still need to make sure we’ve qualified,” Holder said.

Senior Chloe Holder is a committed sailing athlete at Tufts University.

With four hour-long practices four days a week, Holder has been able to hone her sailing skills with the help of her coach, Adam Corpuz-Lahne.

“Sailing, unlike almost every other sport you can think of, is played on a moving playing field. The waves are affected by the wind and the current so when the wind blows against the current, you end up with a really big chop and that can make it really difficult and challenging to sail,” Corpuz-Lahne said.

Corpuz-Lahne has seen incredible improvement in Holder from his three years of coaching her. According to Corpuz-Lahne, Holder could not really pull in the mainsheet or hike hard when she first started, but through training and physical development, carrying out these actions has become second nature. Additionally, her mental abilities and tactical awareness on the race course have become increasingly refined.

“The hardest thing that I’ve found is it’s hard to work with another person on the boat. You’re on this really small piece of fiberglass in the ocean for extended periods of time and it’s really easy to get frustrated. So being on the same page and having the same goals as that person can be challenging at times,” Holder said.

While it can get frustrating at times, in the end, Holder said that she and her crew are best friends.

Mackenzie Berwick, who is currently on the University of California Berkeley Sailing Team, was Holder’s crew for two seasons. Through their grueling practices and countless regattas together, Berwick has been able to see another side of Holder.

“She’s really humble and coachable. A lot of sailors, when they [reach] higher levels, they start to develop a ‘I know best’ mentality, but Chloe is always open to listen to the way other people may rig their boats or if a coach tells her to try something new [to improve],” Berwick said.

Her drive to become a better sailor each day is also reminiscent of her attitude towards academics.

“My two focuses throughout my high school career have been my academics and my sailing,” Holder said. “It’s hard to balance it, but after talking to all my teachers and they understand what I’m trying to do with sailing and how seriously I take it, they’ve [become] very understanding.”

Photo Courtesy of Chloe Holder

In addition to sailing at a collegiate level, Holder wants to major in Environmental Science studies in college and has built up a passion for this through her vice presidency role in the Environmental Action Club and enrollment in AP Environmental Science and Sustainable Agriculture.

Through her motivation in academics as well as sailing, Holder has become an exceptional student-athlete. Her commitment on both sides illustrate her well-roundedness, grit and determination. One instance of Holder’s character stuck with Corpuz-Lahne as she endured a difficult tough practice.

 

“I was in the coaching boat following along. It was probably a 25 mile per hour wind and a huge three foot chop on the bay and she capsized over, and over, and over again,” Corpuz-Lahne said. “Despite being cold, tired and numb, she kept wanting to work on the skill we were working on, when most sailors would have quit and been happy to go home and sit in the sauna.”

Holder is unclear about her future path in life, but knows that sailing will indefinitely be part of it.

“I’m still trying to figure out the bigger goals with [sailing]. I’d like to continue sailing for the rest of my life, but there’s a lot of directions that it can take me, so I’m still figuring what I exactly want,” Holder said.

About the Writer
Ryo Weng, Opinion Editor

Ryo Weng is an opinion editor for the Redwood Bark. He is a current junior and enjoys playing lacrosse and spending time with friends. He is also the junior...

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Sports Spotlight: Chloe Holder sails her way to Tufts University