Sailor Spotlight: Michael Ehnot
Michael Ehnot is a recent graduate from the Christian Brothers Academy and will be attending George Washington University in the Fall. Michael is one of the top Laser sailors in our area, and he has been one of the best high school sailors in the New Jersey area for the past four years. Mike is reserved and polite. He works hard on the water, and he is well liked by all of his peers. He comes from a family that will do anything to help support his sailing. Mike is a welcomed addition to any yacht club, program, or team; as a coach, he's exactly the type of kid with whom I would want to work.
Name: Mike Ehnot
School: Christian Brothers Academy, George Washington University
Yacht Club: Surf City YC and Spray Beach YC
1. Michael, you're one of the top high school aged sailors in our area. What do you think has contributed to your success over the past few years? How did you get so good? I think the biggest contributor to success is my constant interest in the sport. Being able to enjoy sailing in any form whether it be training for nationals or trying out a boat for the first time makes dedicating your time and practicing much easier. With regards to racing, I think the most important piece of advice I was given is to “make decisions”. Making decisions highlights that you are the best person who can motivate yourself to accomplish a goal, which means that internally, you must decide to work towards a goal.
2. I know you sail Lasers in the summer and 420s/FJs on your high school sailing team. You also sail Techs and other boats. Clearly you've benefited from sailing multiple boats. Some people worry that you need to be solely a 420 sailor to have a successful high school and/or college career. What's your take on that theory? From my experience, I’ve seen many Laser sailors succeed just as well as 420 sailors in High School/ College sailing, and in my opinion, I think that the High School/College style of sailing is so different than traditional racing that it requires sailors to learn new skills in order to succeed. So, while there may be a few 420 boat handling nuances that translate to High School/College sailing, there are much more gains to be made by gaining experience with the different style of sailing.
3. Last weekend, CBA celebrated 10 years of high school sailing by having an Alumni Regatta. Tell me about the CBA HS Sailing program and what it's done for you over the past four years. The sailing program at CBA is outstanding! No school in our area supports their sailing team the way CBA does. Sailing for CBA over the past four years has given me an enormous amount of sailing experience, and it has shown me the highest level of High School sailing with multiple trips to the Mid-Atlantic District Championship and trips to the Atlantic Coast Championship and National Championship. Without a doubt, I owe a lot of my sailing skill to sailing for CBA.
4. Next year you're going to study at George Washington University. GW has an up and coming sailing team. Why did you decide to go to George Washington, and what are you looking forward to for next year? I’m super excited to start my first year of college soon at GW. What drew me in was GW’s established engineering school where I was able to see myself as a student and be excited to study computer science. I was also convinced by the large amount of career opportunities available in and near DC, and the large student body of the school. And of course, I was drawn in by the constantly impressive and improving results of the sailing team.
5. I know you've got an aggressive summer schedule lined up. What's on the calendar? The laser schedule this summer is very busy, especially in the beginning. Around the end of June, I’ll be sailing in the US Youth Champs in North Carolina and Laser Nationals in Houston. These events are two of the biggest events of the year and this year they are only separated by three days. With that being said, it will be a challenge to stay energized for those two events. Some other possible events on the calendar include Laser North Americans in southern California and CORK in Kingston, Canada. Once the big regattas are over, I’ll be getting prepared to start college.