The UMBC Sailing Club began to form in the Fall of 1998 with the

meeting of Assistant Vice Provost of Research, Mike Breton, and

Freshmen Jeff Janos.  Mike had a son who was getting ready to start as

a student in UMBC in 1999 and wanted there to be a team for him to

sail with.  Jeff had just come to the University after turning down

offers from St. Mary’s College and Washington College.  Both were keen

on having a competitive sailing team at UMBC.


Over the next few months, Mike and Jeff worked together to establish

the UMBC Sailing Club as a student-run organization and secure funding

for a small fleet of Flying Juniors.  They recruited students through

various campus events and networks during the “formative year” of the

club.  As President of the Club, Jeff worked to establish a Board to

help run the Club’s daily business.


At the end of the Spring of 1999, the UMBC Sailing Club was a

fully-functional club, had a fleet of boats, a partnership with the

Loyola College Sailing Team, and several talented sailors.  The Club

was granted provisional status in the Mid-Atlantic Intercollegiate

Sailing Association (MAISA) and was able to sign up for it’s first

regattas for the Fall of 1999.


The Fall of 1999 was the first on-the-water season for the Club and

saw the arrival of two experienced skippers, Dylan Breton and Greg

Miernicki.  The Club’s debut was at the 1999 Washington College Open

with a promising top 10 finish, showing that they had what it took to

compete at the collegiate level.  The very next regatta, both

divisions had a strong showing and qualified for the fall district

championship, the War Memorial regatta.


The small size of the team meant that every member was able sail most

weekends of the season and attend some of the higher level regattas

that are typically unavailable to freshmen and sophomore sailors.  This

allowed a sharp learning curve and kept the team competing at a high

level and improving quickly.  Due to this, the team was able to

continue a streak of attendance at district championship regattas and

intersectionals while maintaining a reputation of one of the most

competitive Club Sport teams in the district.