By Paige Constantine

About a year ago, I went sailing for the first time. I grew up on the water, but my experience was only in powerboats and I had absolutely no knowledge of sailing. That said, I love the ocean and I love boats, so when I found out that my school had a sailing team I thought, “Why not join?” I knew it would definitely be hard to start at age fifteen, on a team with kids who have been sailing since they were infants, but it couldn’t hurt to try. I went to the first meeting for the team, and decided I was going to do it.


The author with 11th Hour Racing Team Skipper Charlie Enright…   ©


For the first two days of practice, we had chalk talks. Our coach, Joe Cooper (aka Coop), wanted to teach us new sailors about what sailing a 420 would be like. Even though everything he spoke about on those two days was incredibly basic, all of it was over my head. I quickly realized that sailing was way more complicated than I thought, and that there was so much to learn.

In the following months, Coop and the other students on the team helped me to learn a ton about sailing. Everyone was patient as I learned, even when I messed up or asked a ton of questions. By the end of the season, not only had I learned a lot and come a long way from where I started in March, but I had also found a love for sailing.


…and Media Crew Member Amory Ross                                 ©



A few weeks ago, Coop posted on SportsYou that there was going to be an event at Team One Newport in Newport, RI, where Charlie Enright and Amory Ross from 11th Hour Racing Team would be coming to talk about their experience during The Ocean Race 2022-23. It sounded really interesting and I thought that going to the event would help me learn more about sailing, so I signed up. Charlie (Skipper) and Amory (Media Crew Member) showed us a video of the team’s IMOCA 60 Malama sailing across Point Nemo, which was a totally bizarre concept to me. I can’t even imagine being that far away from civilization.

Charlie and Amory told us a lot about the necessary preparations for the race, including everything from the hull and foils to the sleeping quarters. A lot of time was spent discussing the foils, which was really confusing to me but still really cool to learn about. The research that the 11th Hour crew executed during the race was incredibly impressive as well. They collected water samples from areas in the ocean that are rarely sailed, and brought them back in order to be put through filters which can determine what type of ocean life was present in that area. As somebody who has always been interested in ocean research and conservation, this project was really interesting to me.


Special thanks to Team One Newport owner Martha Parker for hosting a fantastic event!   ©


Going to the 11th Hour event at Team One was a great experience, and I couldn’t be happier that I was able to attend and have the privilege of meeting Charlie and Amo. Listening to their stories from the race was incredible, and it gave me a totally new perspective on sailing. I haven’t sailed offshore yet, and hearing about the 11th Hour Racing Team’s experience made me even more excited to get involved in offshore sailing in the future. I’m super excited for the approaching start of the high school season, and I can’t wait to learn more about sailing and get even more involved the sailing world. There is always more to learn in sailing, and I can’t wait to keep learning. ■

Paige Constantine grew up in Bradford, RI and is a member of The Prout School Class of 2026. She started sailing in her freshman year and is now a member of the school’s 420 Sailing Team. An avid skier for many years, she’s also a member of Prout’s Youth Force club.