Sawyer the sailor

Sophmore has eyes set on 2028 olympics

Settling into the straps of his I420 class boat, sophomore Sawyer Bastian looks out onto the waters in which he’s been examining for the past hour, filled with high hopes of finding an advantage in the competition. Hooked from a summer camp, Bastian has been bringing his love of boating to the competitive scene since 2019, training to eventually compete in the Olympics.


“I love the rush. I love the thrill of it. And even with big boats, it’s all about teamwork, you know, working as a crew collectively to get the bigger picture of winning a regatta.” Bastian said.


Working with his partner, Jack Murphy, the pair has been training under Udi Gal, their coach and former Olympian for Israel, previous winner of the Junior European’s and two-time 4-70 World Champion. Udi’s been improving the pair for the past two years, with a straightforward attitude and a great emphasis on teamwork.


”He’s good at finding your limit, sometimes he gets a little intense, but he knows when to stop and when to actually push you, which is nice to have in a coach”, Murphy said.


Competing for the HPC (high performance center) in Tiburon, California, Bastian has entered into many different competitions to continue fighting 


“We’ve attended the North American championship and national championship over the summer”, Bastian said. “We also qualified for the Chubbs U.S. Junior Championship and won that qualification regatta (sailing races).”


The U.S. National Youth Sailing Competition, where teams all across the country compete to show their skills, is where Bastian will try to win in order to represent the United States in the Youth World Sailing Competition. Compiled of how many regattas, and what competitors’ placements were.


”Even if I don’t get in, it’s still putting my name out there, and honestly, in this sport, having your name heard is terrific,” Bastian said.


Getting to the Olympics in sailing may seem like a pretty far idea, but with constant training, and guest trainers in Bastian’s practices, it’s getting closer and closer.


”If you really take it seriously, the 2028 Olympics are in LA”, said Murphy. They’re actually kind of there for us, and if we train really well and qualify, we’re gonna make it”.


To be taken seriously in any sport, athletes have to practice and put in the hard work, and Bastian has continued to work hard for his goal both in and out of competitions.


”He always puts forward his best effort, and that’s something I like about him because he’s always just training for a really big regatta”, said Murphy.


Sailing has always meant a lot to Bastian, who loves the sport even if he can only practice 3 weekends in a month, and traveling down to San Francisco to put together a boat that could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours.


“At the end of the day, you’re just racing to have a good time”, Bastian said.