Newport News, VA (October 25-26, 2104): In their last regatta before the SAISA Fall Championship Regatta, NC State sailors headed to tidewater Virginia for the Webb Open, hosted by the Captains of Christopher Newport University. Competitors were treated to both brand new Turbo 420s, and incredibly new sails, delivered to CNU only hours before regatta. Light, shifty wind was a prevalent theme for the weekend and Saturday started with a wind delay. After about an hour delay, the wind picked up to 3-5 knots and races were able to begin. NC State senior skipper David Rogers (Mt. Pleasant, SC) and freshman crew James Stonecypher (Chapel Hill, NC) represented the SailPack in A-fleet. They had a strong showing with a 2nd and 3rd place finish in two races and finished the day fifth overall.
NC State sailors Smith, Stonecypher, Rogers, and Wheeler at CNU for the 2014 Webb Open
On the water for the SailPack in B-fleet was freshman skipper Kara Wheeler (Oriental, NC) and, debuting in his first college regatta, junior crew Zane Smith (Richmond, VA). The day was spent constantly battling with the Wahoos from the University of Virginia, with NC State passing UVA on the upwind leg, and UVA passing the Wolfpack sailors on the downwind. Almost every race delivered a nail-biting finish. Overall for Saturday, NC State finished the day in 5th with a slight lead to protect and ground to cover on the leaders on Sunday.
The full fleet heading downwind on the James River at the 2014 Webb (Photo © Hampton University)
Sunday morning, NC State were celebrating not only the stronger wind (8-10 knots) that had decided to show up, but also the 21st birthday of junior crew Zane Smith. When asked about sailing on his birthday Zane said, “Nothing could’ve been better than going out on the river and sailing on such a beautiful day.” Fellow regatta participants serenaded Zane with a birthday song on the sail back to the dock.
Moments after the start of a B-fleet race on Sunday (Photo © Hampton University)
Sunday was jammed packed full of sailing with races starting moments after finishing. Sailors in A-fleet completed 6 races while B-fleet were able to finish 7 races. On the whole, NC State was able to maintain its lead on Virginia and finished in 5th, just three points ahead of the Wahoos. Congratulations to the Pirates of Hampton University for their win. It was great to see our friends in MAISA again including Virginia Tech, and UVA. Thanks to our new friends Coach Max, Julia and all of the sailors at Christopher Newport University for inviting and hosting NC State sailors for the whole weekend. They have a great sailing program at CNU and it's easy to see why! Full results from the regatta are available HERE.
* Special thanks to Kara Wheeler for submitting this article for SailPack.org.