CHARLESTON, SC (September 13-14, 2014): NC State sailors start the 2014 Fall season strong with a 9th-place finish among a talented field of eighteen conference squads. As the first regatta of the season, the 2014 Fall SAISA Open hosted by the College of Charleston is one of the biggest events of the fall for the SailPack. Conditions on Saturday were a mix of light breeze out of the south with a strong flood tide, so racing was delayed for some time in the morning. Although never happy to be postponed, sailors from all of the eighteen schools in attendance enjoyed the great location and hospitality of the host Cougars. When the wind finally started to cooperate around noon and sailors were able to get out on the course, races proved to be fiercely competitive.
Early races on Saturday at the 2014 Fall SAISA Open regatta
Racing in the shadows of the WWII aircraft carrier, the USS Yorktown, NC State sailors got off to a strong start and senior A-fleet skipper David Rogers (Mt. Pleasant, SC) and junior crew Paulina Spencer (Raleigh, NC) were the first team to round the windward mark, a great start to what we hope will be our best season yet. Although they finished that race in fourth, their performance was strong and remained so throughout the day. Rogers and Spencer were originally slated to race in B-fleet with skipper Benton Morton (Wilmington, NC) scheduled for the start, but a rough case of tonsillitis sidelined the senior veteran.
NC State A-fleet rounds the windward mark in the third race of the day
"David and Paulina really stepped up strong to the challenge and sailed really well in A-Fleet. Although this is no surprise to anyone who is familiar with how hard they work, it's a testament to that hard work paying off when it matters," said NC State head coach Dana Magliola. "They were able to close out A-fleet in 5th overall behind only varsity programs, the highest of any of the club teams at the event."
NC State B-fleet rounding the offset with Duke and Clemson close behind
The roster shuffle placed senior skipper and SailPack newcomer Aaron Sherman (Bozeman, MT) and veteran senior crew Jillian Tucker (Jamestown, NC) sailing in B-fleet where they also performed well, finishing the regatta 12th in B-fleet. The shifting conditions and tides were also a great learning experience for Sherman, an experienced lake sailor. After three completed races in both fleets, the tide change forced a move to Crab Bank a site familiar to NC State sailors and six more races were completed before the end of the day. As Saturday racing closed, NC State sat in 9th place of 18, 4th of the programs in our division, SAISA North.
Rigging the boat on Day 2; unfortunately no racing would be held on Sunday
Sunday morning's conditions were warm, cloudy and very calm. An initial postponement was lengthened and eventually, the second day of racing was called due to a lack of wind, and NC State finished the regatta as they had finished Saturday's racing in 9th. This represents a great showing for the SailPack and bodes well for their continued success as the Fall 2014 season continues. Full scores and information are available HERE.
Huge turnout and great SAISA conference pride from all the schools in attendance.
Photo (c) Jacksonville U. Sailing