Monday, January 14, 2013
The College of Charleston Sailing Association has a tradition as a perennial top sailing team in the country.
The little, red-roofed building at Patriots Point Marina is home to the defending Leonard Fowle Trophy recipients, an award presented annually to the best overall collegiate sailing team in the United States. Competitively, the Cougars win on the water, and recreationally, the sailing classes taught by the association are popular in the Lowcountry.
Two weekends ago, the organization started what it hopes to be another tradition. The Clear the Dock Frostbite Fun(d) Raising Regatta took place at the College of Charleston’s J. Stewart Walker, Jr. Sailing Complex.
Organization director Greg Fisher, assistant dockmaster Jacob Raymond and several volunteers helped to put on the inaugural event, which aimed to engage all of the college’s sailboats and raise funds to support the association.
Seniors, college students and high schoolers crowded the dock Saturday and Sunday for the event. It was a direct reflection of the wide range of people who support the sailing association.
“The regatta was essentially intended to be fun and open to all comers,” Fisher said in information provided by the college’s marketing office. “It’s our hope to do this kind of thing much more often, perhaps quarterly.”
The weather challenged sailors, but not in the “Perfect Storm”-movie kind of way. There were overcast skies, an on-and-off drizzle and little wind. A new moon also complicated efforts by creating strong tides.
But, the dock environment was much friendlier. About 100 participants enjoyed steamed oysters, burgers and beverages.
There were three class winners through seven races. Walter Maguire, a former College of Charleston sailor, won with two crew members in the J-22 class, which is a 22-foot keelboat. Nick Valente, a college student from New York, won the FJ class, which is a 13-foot dinghy. High school student Carter Cameron convincingly claimed the title for the 420 class, winning six of seven races.
College of Charleston Sailing Association offers instructional and recreational sailing opportunities to water rookies and seasoned sailors alike. For more information, go online to cofc.edu/sailing.
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