Capping an incredible year of competition, Richmond Hill’s Dana Rohde was awarded the Quantum Women’s Sailor of the Year award as the top collegian in the country.
Those who watched Rohde grow up here are aware of the success she had at the junior level and as a member of the Richmond Hill High School sailing team, coached by her mother, Carrie.
It should perhaps come as no surprise that Rohde, 22, dominated district and national championships in her senior year at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut and was the only finalist considered for the award.
“I never expected to win,” Rohde said Monday, when reached at home before embarking on her Coast Guard career, which begins July 1.
“This year was about doing the best we could and that was my focus,” she said. “This is the best way to end my women’s college sailing career. It will be a reminder of the great time I had sailing in college and the great friends I made.”
Rohde won eight women’s events and placed second in A-division in the 2018 Sperry College Sailing Women’s National Championship. She has also been named a Women’s All-American and honorable mention every year of her college sailing career.
The Sailor of the Year award is decided by a committee of the ICSA (Inter-collegiate Sailing Association) and was presented during the national championship May 25 in Norfolk.
“This award honors the most elite in the sport and she is that,” Brian Swingly, head coach for U.S. Coast Guard Academy told Scuttlebutt Sailing News. “I am proud and thrilled for her, she is an incredibly professional athlete and works hard every day to make herself and teammates better. I cannot think of anyone more deserving.”
Rohde started sailing at age 6 and is part of a family synonymous with being on the water. Her father Dan is a sailor who graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, and sisters Krysta and Devon both graduated from the Coast Guard Academy.
“It’s been a huge commitment” (over the years), Rohde said. “My parents used to drive me to Florida” (to compete) and the biggest challenge was to stay consistent.
Rohde studied operations research and computer analysis while at the Academy and will be an ensign, assigned to Coast Guard Cutter Juniper as a deck watch officer in Newport, RI.