Our History

The Boston University Sailing Team is one of the oldest college sailing teams in the country - so old, in fact, that it existed before BU even broke ground on its present Charles River Campus. The team was founded in 1937 through a joint effort by Boston University undergraduates Ham Andon, Thomas Coleman, Jacob Saliba, Bob Shields, Ned Walker, and Fred Walker.

 

At the time, the school's campus was scattered across Boston between Back Bay and Logan Airport. Lacking a proper sailing facility in its early days, the team practiced out of the MIT Sailing Pavilion while planning and fundraising for a boathouse of its own began taking hold.

The members of the team quickly branded themselves as the BUDS - short for the Boston University Dinghy Sailors - a name that they still wear proudly to this day. 

In 1952, the BUDS moved down the Charles River to Community Boating, Inc. and purchased their first fleet of boats: four Tech Dinghies, designed by MIT and purchased under the leadership of BU alumnus George Morris. The BUDS expanded their fleet over the next decade, and began teaching sailing classes at CBI in 1958. 

Hatch Brown

BU Class of 1959

Decker Swann made history in 1957 as one of the first female coed sailing captains in the country. Swann had to get special permission from BU to wear pants to her classes so that she could ride her bike across the Mass. Ave. Bridge to practice every day. Still without a boathouse, the BU team continued to practice out of the MIT Sailing Pavilion. 

 

In 1967, the Boston University Rowing Team moved to a new home across the Charles River, giving the BUDS the opportunity to permanently relocate to the rowers' old facilities. The team continues to operate out of the same boathouse, and made major renovations to the building in 2015.

In 1978, Sandra Ray became the first woman in the United States to earn All-America honors when she earned the distinction as a coed skipper.

The 1980s

The BUDS began achieving tremendous success in the 1980s. A series of incredibly talented sailors joined the team, including 18 eventual All-Americans and 2 ICSA College Sailors of the Year.

 

1980 was a landmark year for Boston University: the BUDS won their first-ever national championship at the ICSA Team Racing Nationals and placed second overall at the Coed Dinghy Championship. Two years later, in 1982, the team won the Coed Dinghy and Team Racing National Championships in 1982, extending a dominant era for the BUDS. Three years later, in 1985, the BUDS won their second fleet racing national championship. 

 

Legendary sailing brothers Ken ('84) and Brad Read ('87) continued building their sailing legacies well into their professional careers after both winning the College Sailor of the Year award and contributing to multiple national championships for the BUDS. 

Brad White wins 1979 MVP Trophy

Brad White (center left) with Dan Finch, Ron Sandstrom, and John Simpson

Lynne Jewel, Class of 1981, is a two-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year and won a gold medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in the 470 class.

1985 National Champions

(from left) Pete Melvin, Terryl King, Paul Brierre, Brad Read, Bill Foster, and Mary Jodice take home the 1985 ICSA National Championship.

Boston University was the runner-up in the 1997 Coed National Championship and saw its third ICSA College Sailor of the Year in Tim Wadlow, who skippered A-Division at the event. Wadlow's plaque hangs in the Sailing Pavilion along with his original BU Student ID card from his time at BU.

The BUDS claimed victory at the 1999 Coed National Championship in St. Petersburg, FL with the help of current Head Coach Stan Schreyer ('99), who skippered B-Division at the regatta. The win marked Boston University's third Coed Dinghy championship and fifth total national title. 

Present Day

The BUDS replaced their fleet of FJs in 2012 and continue to keep the boats in fantastic shape. The Boston University Sailing Pavilion underwent major renovations in 2015 to update both the boathouse interior and roof. 

In 2018, the Intercollegiate Sailing Association began sponsoring the Women's Team Racing National Championship in response to the rapid growth of women's team racing in years prior. Boston University won the first Women's Team Race Nationals, cementing its name once again in the history books of collegiate sailing and adding a seventh title to BU's record. 

Awards

ICSA College Sailor of the Year

NAME

YEAR

Ken Read

1982

Brad Read

1986

Tim Wadlow

1997

All-American

NAME

YEAR

Sandra Ray

1978

Nicholas Burke

1980

Jack Slattery

1980

Brad White

1980

All-NEISA

NAME

YEAR

Ken Read

1982

Brad Read

1986

Tim Wadlow

1997

Ken Read

1981

Jack Slattery

1981

Nicholas Burke

1982

Ken Read

1982

John Shadden

1982

Barbara Smigelski

1983

Ken Read

1983

Nicholas Burke

1983

Lisa Raggins

1984

Rob Alexander

1984

Brad Read

1984

Paul Brierre

1985

Mary Jodice

1985

Pete Melvin

1985

Brad Read

1985

Paul Brierre

1986

Teryl King

1986

Ben Cesare

1986