Friday, October 11, 2013
Nine of the top sailing teams from around the U.S. competed in the U.S. Offshore Championship in Annapolis Maryland, Sept. 26-29. The race was hosted by the U.S. Naval Academy Sailing Squadron who supplied Navy 44s for the competition. The team from Charleston was honored with a silver medal.
The Charleston team, skippered by Ryan Hamm of James Island, placed second after seven races. Team members were Robert Hertel, Bowman (James Island), Rick Moore, Halyards (James Island), Matt Moore, Jib/Spinnaker (James Island), Paul Whitesides, Jib/Spinnaker Trimmer (Rock Hill), Chris Hamilton, Main Sail Trimmer (James Island) and Brad Law, Mast (Mount Pleasant).
The Charleston team has been working for 18 months to qualify for this event and is excited to have achieved their goal. “The sailing this weekend was awesome,” said Ryan Hamm. “I like racing big boats in small places and Annapolis is perfect for that. That’s why we were keen to compete.”
The team members represented the South Atlantic Yacht Racing Association, the Charleston Ocean Racing Association and four area yacht clubs: Carolina Yacht Club, Charleston Yacht Club, James Island Yacht Club and Hobcaw Yacht Club.
The U.S. Sailing Championships provide an opportunity for local sailors to compete on a national level and test their skills against the best. Each team consisted of a crew of eight, including one skipper and six crew members, plus one U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman provided from the varsity offshore racing team. A minimum of five of each competitors’ team, including the designated skipper, must have raced together in at least five offshore regattas in the past 18 months.