Sailor Spotlight: Alex Fasolo
Alex Fasolo is one of the nicest kids you will ever meet. He's polite, respectful, and one incredible sailor. Case in point, last week Alex was psyched to spend some time with and crew for his dad - who learned how to sail after Alex - in the Sandpiper Nationals. Alex's sailing resume speaks for itself, and next year he'll be a huge asset on the Tufts Sailing Team. This summer, he's coaching Optis at the Metedeconk River Yacht Club.
Name: Alex Fasolo
School: St. Georges High School, Tufts University
Yacht Club: Bay Head and Mantoloking Yacht Clubs
1) Growing up, you spent a lot of time sailing different boats. You've sailed Optis, Lasers, 420s, E-Scows, and a handful of other boats. Which one boat do you think was most important to your development as a sailor? Which boat have you enjoyed sailing the most? I am thankful for my Opti career because it was my first real exposure to competitive sailing, and got me invested in sailing early on. 420s and E-Scows have taught me how to work well with teammates, a skill that will be extremely valuable in college sailing. The Laser, however, contributed most. The Laser is an extremely physical boat and it taught me how to balance working as hard as possible while also thinking about strategy and tactics.
2) Last week you sailed the Sandpiper Nationals at Mantoloking YC with your dad. Tell me about the regatta. What was it like to sail with your dad? The regatta was extremely fun. It was interesting because you can’t tack on every shift like you can in a dinghy, so that was a notable transition I had to make. I actually learned to sail before my Dad did, so he’s still figuring out how to read tell tales and go upwind. He was thrilled with how well we were doing which made the regatta really fun.
3) You attended St. George's in Newport, RI, for high school. What was your experience like going to boarding school? How was sailing in NESSA (New England) vs. other sailing districts? Attending St. Georges was one of the best decisions I have made, especially for my sailing career. I had the opportunity to compete on one of the best team racing teams in the country in a competitive district. The best part about sailing for St. Georges was whenever I was sitting in a calculus or physics class, I had sailing to motivate me to get through it. New England High School sailing isn’t nearly as competitive as New England College sailing, but it is still a district filled without a lot of great competition.
4) Next year you will be a freshman at Tufts. What are your expectations for college and for college sailing? Why did you choose Tufts? I fully expect to get my butt kicked in my first year of college sailing and I am strongly looking forward to it. One of the fastest ways to improve in sailing is to get creamed but those who are better and learn from it. I chose Tufts first and foremost because they had exactly the academic program I was looking for: a strong engineering program that focuses on a balanced education. I also love the campus and location, and the sailing team played a part in it too!
5) This summer, you're an Opti coach at Metedeconk River YC. You yourself had a very successful Opti career. Can you give me 5 quick tips for sailing the Opti well when it's windy? What do you preach to your sailors once the wind comes up?
1. The first tip I would give Opti sailors is to get your vang cranked on when the wind comes up. When I was in Optis and it was windy, I would crank my mainsheet until the blocks were almost next to each other, then lean up and tighten my vang. It’s really important to close your leech going downwind when it’s windy.
2. I also tell my kids that it is much better to be eased a little and flat upwind than trimmed and heeled.
3. If you feel unstable downwind lower your board.
4. Your butt needs to be fully over the rail when hiking
5. Hike off your toes, they’re called toe straps for a reason.