Last week, Emily Reich was awarded All American Sailor for the second year in a row. Reich, who was raised on the Island, got her start at the East Chop Yacht Club and is on her way to her new job as Assistant Head Coach at the Chicago Yacht Club.
“I was really surprised,” said Reich of winning again this year. “I told my mom that it wasn’t happening, I thought we didn’t have a good enough record.”
Reich, who recently graduated from Old Dominion University in Virginia, was one of the only crews that made All American without her skipper also making All American.
Last year, Reich became the first graduate to reach All American status competing at a NCAA Division I college.
“Ending my college career on that note was so awesome,” said Reich.
Also pretty awesome is where Reich is now headed. Not a month out of college, Reich is on her way to her new job as the assistant head coach of the sailing program at the Chicago Yacht Club.
“I’ve never been to Chicago before,” laughed Reich, “but I know how lucky I am. It’s one of best yacht clubs in the country. Being hired was an honor in itself.”
Reich credits her love for sailing to her roots on the Island.
“My mom said, ‘if you’re going to live on an Island, you need to learn how to sail.’”
However, Reich didn’t love it right away.
“I actually really hated sailing when I started,” she said. But once she got to high school and started racing, she never looked back.
With how hard it is for college graduates to find work in their field of choice, Reich’s story stands out as an example of what can happen when you see something through.
“I’m the only one from my original high school team that has stuck with sailing this long and now I’m in it for life.”
Reich doesn’t seem worried at all about heading into her first full time coaching position.
“I’ve had some really good role models. Coach Doug Heil was one of the best coaches I ever had,” said Reich of her first sailing coach at MVRHS. “It’s all very exciting!”