Williams ’12, Roesler ’12 named to U.S. Development Team
By Chad Hollis, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Dartmouth sailors Sam Williams ’12 and Bernie Roesler ’12 — who have been sailing together for over 10 years — will continue competing together as members of the 2011 U.S. Sailing Development Team. Raised in neighboring cities in New Jersey, the two started off as rivals and competed against each other in races every year. Now as sailors on Dartmouth’s coed team, the two will have the opportunity to train with the best talent in American and have the potential to sail in the Olympics together.
This year, 55 sailors from around the country were named to the team, which was formed to train athletes identified as future Olympic prospects. Sailors are each trained using specific U.S. Olympic Game boats. Roesler and Williams will team up to man a 470 — a two-person dinghy.
“The program definitely revolves around pushing you towards the Olympics and training you for the games, but we’re still at the young end,” Williams said. “It would be great to try out for the Olympics, but we’re looking at 2016 at the earliest. There are Americans who won a gold medal in our class and they were in their early forties.”
Both Roesler and Williams normally sail a 420, a smaller version of the 470 boat they will sail with the development program. Although both are on the Dartmouth sailing team, the two have not sailed together much during races for the College.
As members of the development team, Roseler and Williams will not miss any Dartmouth sailing events. The program lasts the entire 2011 calendar year and the team coaches reevaluate the members of the team every year.
“[The program directors] know a lot of sailors want to go to school and take classes,” Williams said. “It’s kind of unique to sailing that college events are at a high level. They work the program around college sailing so we’ll still be here during the season. We have clinics and training camps on weekends during the year and over the summer.”
Most of the development program’s clinics happen during the offseason. This winter, the two will live and train in Miami with the top sailors in their age group and members of the current U.S. Olympic sailing team.
Roesler said he thinks that sailing in Miami will not be too different from sailing at Dartmouth.
“Sailings pretty much the same everywhere,” he said. “Obviously you don’t have to wear as much clothing because the water isn’t 45 degrees. Up at Dartmouth it’s a little different because we usually sail on a small lake instead of the open ocean.”
Both Roesler and Williams contributed to the team’s improved performance this year with strong individual showings, helping increase the Big Green’s coed sailing team eligibility for the national championships. Dartmouth is currently ranked 17th by Sailing World and climbed as high as 11th in October. The top 10 schools qualify for the national championships.
“We definitely had a more successful season than last fall,” Williams said. “As a team we’ve been pretty young over the past few years and we’ve continued to grow every year.”
Roesler added that the team’s freshmen had a lot of experience coming into the fall season.
“Most of the time we have a bunch of people who have never sailed before so it takes them a while to get up to speed,” Roesler said. “This year, almost the entire class has done a lot of junior sailing. It really helps when everyone on the team is up to speed from the get go because you’re able to start working hard right away.”
Both Roesler and Williams said that they are set on making the national tournament in the spring.
“This is my third year on the team and the coed team has not made it to nationals yet,” Williams said. “I want to go there, but I also want to be competitive there. We really think we can be at least top 10 in the country. We think we have the talent to be one of the best teams in the nation next fall and next spring. It’s a short season so we need to start strong in the spring break trip to make nationals.”