LFHS Senior Possesses Passion for Sailing
By Caroline Gerber Lake Forest High School's Henry Scholz was first introduced to sailing when at age 8 his father signed him up for the Parks Program at Forest Park Beach. At first Scholz’s interest in sailing had more to do with having an opportunity to see friends at the beach than actually sailing. However, over time Scholz became a proficient sailor and developed a proclivity for the sport.
“Henry is captain of the program’s contemporary successes and reputation,” said Lake Forest Sailing Coach, Will Howard. The initial moment that sparked his love for sailing happened when he was around 12. Reflecting on that moment Scholz said, “I was sailing into the Lake Forest Beach Harbor, and it was windy with very high waves of eight to ten feet. I surfed this one wave 100 yards into the harbor. After that I knew sailing was something I had a true passion for.” As a senior, Scholz has been sailing for 10 years and has excelled in numerous competitions, referred to as regattas. During this time Scholz has received many accolades for his exceptional sailing ability. Last fall he was the number one laser sailor in the entire Midwest region and placed fourth at Nationals. Scholz also competes in regattas as a member of the Lake Forest Sailing team, during the fall and spring seasons. “Henry is captain of the program’s contemporary successes and reputation,” said Lake Forest Sailing Coach, Will Howard. Throughout his years sailing, Scholz has proven to be a hardworking, invaluable member of the sailing team. “Whether he was nine and still learning in the formidable conditions of Lake Michigan or now, competing against Olympic caliber adults all over the country, Henry has never shied away from treacherous conditions or grueling training,” said Howard. Last spring, Scholz competed on behalf of the sailing team in the top two major national Spring regattas that the team qualified for. The team earned top 10 finishes in both regattas and was ranked first overall out of all Midwest schools. In addition to competing in season, Scholz also competes in three or four major regattas during the Summer. While Scholz enjoys sailing practices, competitions are what he looks forward to the most. “Practicing is good but I like competing more,” said Scholz. “It feels more real and you learn more from competition than you do at practice a lot of times because you can learn from other teams.” Sailing the boats Scholz does “involves extreme athleticism, strategy, focus and fortitude,” said Howard. This is especially true when competing in challenging weather conditions. “You can’t allow yourself to be distracted by difficult conditions,” Scholz said. “During the first race of the day I feel an adrenaline rush, and I try to remain calm and think positively, because if you think you’re gonna mess up, you probably will.” Staying calm is especially important, when in team competitions because, “how you perform impacts not just you, but the entire team,” said Scholz. Scholz constantly puts forth his best effort to help his team succeed. "He always supports the team around him as he knows the better his team is the better he becomes,” said Howard. Scholz has traveled to a variety of different destinations for regattas, including Ohio, Michigan, Florida, California, and Lake Garda, Italy. Sailing in the San Francisco Bay underneath the Golden Gate Bridge and on Lake Garda are two of his most memorable sailing experiences. Scholz’s favorite part of the sailing experience is how it differs from other sports. Though there are many variables outside of your control, the one constant is that “you are always the one in control of your own vessel while on the open water,” said Scholz. He will be continuing with his passion for sailing as a member of the Connecticut College Team next year. Although Scholz does not plan to pursue a professional sailing career, sailing will remain his life-long passion. Sailing has come full circle for Scholz, for the second year in a row, he will be teaching sailing to young kids in the very same Parks Program that introduced him to the sport.