FCLC Students Set Sail with Bronx-Based Fordham Club


Published: November 5, 2009

The Fordham University sailing team was resurrected as a club sport in 2000 after a 26-year hiatus. This year, the team is off to a strong start, taking first place in the Jesuit Open Intersectional Regatta, the Queens/Royal Military Academy College Open and most recently the Greater New York Dinghy Regatta.

“It’s a Fordham University athletic department success story,” said Joe Sullivan, Fordham ’58, head sailing coach.

Fordham University competes in the Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association (MAISA), one of the most competitive conferences in the country, which consists of both club and varsity teams. In the MAISA, Fordham University is ranked 10th among all teams and is ranked second among club teams.

At the center of this Fordham success story are two Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) students: Sarah McKay, FCLC ’12, and Emma Pfohman, FCLC ’13.

Manhattan may be an island, but Fordham’s more urban campus, with its emphasis on theatre and dance programs, seems like an odd place to find two sailing enthusiasts. McKay and Pfohman are the only two FCLC students on the Bronx-based sailing team, and they are the only FCLC students currently participating in any Rose Hill club sport.

Coming from a small town in Darien, Ct, McKay grew up in a sailing town. Because of the town’s proximity to the Long Island Sound, sailing was very popular.

“Sailing was a big activity at Darien. I joined the high school sailing team and that’s when I got into racing,” McKay said.

Returning for her second year on the Fordham University sailing team, McKay has adapted well to constantly travelling between Lincoln Center and Rose Hill. “I took one of my classes up at Rose Hill so that I could easily go to my sailing practice,” McKay said.

For most people, the idea of travelling between campuses would be very inconvenient, but McKay believes that there are many benefits of studying at Lincoln Center and participating in a Rose Hill club sport.

“I get to experience the best of both worlds living in Manhattan and being able to go up to Rose Hill. I really like it because I am able to go back and forth. If I want a real college campus I can go to Rose Hill, and if I want to be right in the city I go to Lincoln Center,” McKay said.

The sailing team welcomed a new face from FCLC this year with freshman Emma Pfohman joining the club. Originating from Portland, Ore., Pfohman got into sailing by chance. “In high school, a friend of mine suggested that I join the sailing team,” Pfohman said. “They were looking for one more person for that team so I decided to join. This wasn’t something I thought I would be continuing in college, but I found out that Fordham had a team, so I joined.”

Shortly after her arrival at Fordham, Pfohman soon got comfortable with the Fordham sailing team. “She has adapted to the college scene very quickly and very well,” Sullivan said. “She has become an asset to the program very early on in her college career.” Recently Pfohman played an important role for the team, helping the Rams win the 2009 Greater New York Dinghy Regatta.

Both McKay and Pfohman have been very beneficial for the Fordham sailing team this season. They teamed up together and helped the Rams win the Queen University/Royal Military College Open in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. The same weekend, another group of Fordham sailors captured the Jesuit Open Intersectional title; it was the first time in the sailing team’s history that Fordham won two regattas on the same weekend.

“The regatta was really fun,” McKay said. “It was a long drive, but it was worth it.”

“It was really exciting. A good weekend for us because we won two regattas,” said Pfohman

McKay most recently raced at the MAISA Fall Dinghy Championship at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where she teamed up with Graham Gardner, FCRH ’11, on Fordham’s B Division.

Fordham captured ninth place in the regatta, the highest finish ever at the event and the highest overall placing by a club team. The performance guaranteed Fordham a spot in the MAISA spring championship.