Abby Reeg of Hope Staff Honored Nationally for Service as Sailing Club Adviser
Reeg, who is a regional development director at Hope, advises the Hope College Sailing Team, which is a club activity at the college. She was recognized and inducted into the ICSA Hall of Fame during the association’s annual meeting on Monday, May 21, at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.
In notifying Reeg of the award, ICSA president Mitch Brindley noted that her “tireless dedication and efforts for the Hope College and Grand Valley State Sailing teams have been truly tremendous.” He further praised her hands-on work and leadership in helping the programs in the association’s Midwest conference (MCSA), to which Hope belongs, to grow.
Reeg has been advising Hope’s sailing club since shortly after joining the college’s staff in 2009. A 1986 Hope graduate, she had participated in the club throughout her time as a student, serving as commodore during her junior year. Her daughter, Libby, who graduated from Hope in 2017, was active in the club herself and was commodore during 2015.
The Hope College Sailing Team sails boats called 420s, which are mid-sized, two-person racing dinghies. The club practices three-five times a week at Macatawa Bay Yacht Club. The team competes in five-eight regattas each season, including hosting its own Emma Biagioni Regatta each fall.
The team is open to all experience levels and is professionally coached by Nick Hovland, who is sailing director of the Macatawa Bay Junior Association and also coaches Grand Valley’s team. Howland, who has a degree in commercial recreation from the University of Minnesota, was the waterfront director and head sailing coach for the White Bear Lake Sailing School from 2010 to 2016. During those years he developed a nationally recognized community sailing program. Previously, he was the head coach of the University of Minnesota sailing team and several Minneapolis high school sailing teams.
Hope’s team also works with the area high school teams, and collaborates with Grand Valley State University’s team on regattas. In 2017, the Hope and Grand Valley teams shared the MCSA’s Woodward Trophy for Regatta of the Year for co-hosting the MCSA fall championships at Lake Macatawa in November 2016.
The ICSA is the governing authority for sailing competition at colleges and universities throughout the United States. The association has seven conferences that schedule and administer regattas within their established geographic regions. In addition to the MCSA, the conferences include the Middle Atlantic, New England, Northwest, Pacific Coast, South Atlantic and South-Eastern.