“They are really a great group of kids. They have great attitudes about learning and are always respectful to one another and competitors. It's a friendly sport and on the water they don't hold back but on the shore they are great friends with everyone,” Bass said.
Last year, with 14 teams competing, UCO came in tenth, Powell said.
While Powell hopes to do better this year, she said competing in the Regatta is about more than winning.
“You have to work hard and work together as a team. Communication is a must. If we don't communicate effectively with each other then nothing get's accomplished and if we don't communicate with other boats on the water it can lead to a dangerous situation. There are life skills being taught when you're learning how to sail,” Powell said.
Bass co-coaches the team with his wife, Donna Bass, who is also a staff member at UCO. With 35 years of sailing experience, David Bass said the sport will teach the team lessons that will last them a lifetime.
“They learn responsibility and hard work and hopefully a love for a sport that they'll carry with them for the rest of their lives,” Bass said.
Powell said her favorite part of attending the Sugar Bowl Regatta is socializing and networking with sailors from other teams across the nation.
“It's always fun to meet people who share the same interest as you do. I know that a lot of the team members make friends and network with people on other teams when we compete. I think we are pretty fortunate to be going.” Powell said.
Powell said the team will celebrate New Year's Eve together on Bourbon Street.
They are really a great group of kids. They have great attitudes about learning and are always respectful to one another and competitors. It's a friendly sport and on the water they don't hold back but on the shore they are great friends with everyone.” David Bass,UCO Sailing Team coach and biology professor