Gainesville, FL. (WCJB) -- The cleanup at Lake Wauburg is mostly complete after tornado-like winds caused extensive damage 3 months ago. We'll show you how a student-led sports team is still recovering.
TV20's Landon Harrar reported, "last year, UF's sailing team was only 2 points away from qualifying for nationals, however this year they're 10 boats away from even being able to practice at their normal location here at Lake Wauburg."
After the storm, eyewitness Amber Larkin described a scene you'd commonly hear after a hurricane.
"Coming out in the morning we had over 50 downed trees and equipment was thrown hundreds of feet. We had aluminum canoes wrapped around poles, docks were gone structures were tilted. We had a total of around 350-thousand dollars worth of damage."
Julie Cromie is the sailing team's race captain who added, "one of our sailboats was actually mounted on one of the poles in the water and so the whole entire bow was punctured by this pole."
Every one of the sailing teams' boats was damaged to where they are unusable said, Cromie.
"Right now we technically have 0 sailable boats, we are working closely with UF rec sports and this up and coming "day of giving" to try and recover a fleet."
Larkin added, "just that fleet of boats alone is 75 to 100-thousand dollars."
But for competitive reasons, all ten boats must be purchased at the same time says, Cromie.
"They do need to be purchased in a bulk manner so we can make sure that we get consistent years and makes and models of these boats since we are providing the boats for each of these teams. We rotate through them so we need to make sure not one school has a little better of a boat or a little bit lighter of a hull so that there's no bias."
The sailing team of 22 students still travels to compete but can no longer host regattas and must drive hours to even get in a little practice.
Cromie explained, "trying to organize practices with other local, yet not so local sailing clubs like Jacksonville University and Lake Eustis Yacht Club."