As the fall 2016 semester gets underway, the NC State SailPack is excited about the great interest and attendance at our club interest meetings, on the water sessions, race team tryouts, and club Friday Flotillas. Like all clubs, even as the oldest club on campus founded in 1954, the Sailing Club at NC State has experienced highs and lows, but there’s no doubt the program is on the rise. Competing since the 1970s in co-ed fleet dinghy racing as a part of the Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA), the team travels regularly to regattas up and down the east coast from Boston to Miami. In the fall of 2013, NC State sailing first expanded its program fielding a Women’s racing squad that has since developed into a competitive squad representing NC State against more well-established programs.
Warhorse outpacing an opponent offshore.
With the growing interest in sailing, this year, NC State is excited to establish an offshore racing team for yet another division of college sailing competition, and one that sails larger keelboat racing yachts. The team will train in Charleston, South Carolina, several times during the semester, and participate in racing events this semester and in future seasons. Team Captain and senior skipper Matthew Dockstader (Charlotte, NC) offers, “Offshore racing is a phenomenal opportunity for our program. We’re excited to grow our competitive capacity and hope this element of the program grows like the dinghy side.”
To build the offshore team, NC State will engage current racers, current club members, and new members with interest or experience in offshore keelboat racing. Many Club members come into the program with experience on larger sailboats, so they have the potential to be valuable assets to the new offshore squad.
The opportunity to develop an offshore racing program comes with the support of 2008 NC State and SailPack alumnus Trey Brown. By hosting and training NC State sailors on his One Design 35 named Warhorse, college sailors will learn to compete in a new and challenging class of sailing. The One Design 35, better known as a “1D35,” is a striking 35-foot racing keelboat with a carbon fiber mast and is outfitted for both fleet racing and offshore.
NC State Sailing alumnus Trey Brown and others onboard Warhorse
A sailing team alumnus, after graduation from NC State, Brown joined Zhik, an Austrailian-based retailer and manufacturer that produces high performance wetsuits, thermals, wet weather gear and more for sailing, yachting, paddling and other watersports. He currently serves as the sales manager for North and South America with home-base in Charleston. We had the opportunity to speak with Trey Brown to hear his thoughts on offshore racing coming to Raleigh, and his experiences at NC State.
Brown reminisces about his Fall Break Sailing Club Masonboro Island trip, “We had 26 club members join and took 8 boats. We got settled into camp with tents up around five o’clock in the afternoon, and soon after a massive storm blew through taking about half of our tents with it. Undaunted, all 26 people packed into the half of the tents that remained and we had one of the best weekends I can remember from my college days.” It’s nice to see from this reporter’s perspective that little has changed in the eight years since Brown was on campus, as members of the club are still making lasting college memories and friends through being a part of the SailPack.
On the exciting topic of putting Wolfpack sailors on Warhorse, Trey responded, “I think that sailing big boats teaches different aspects of sailing than dinghies and also enable sailors to incorporate more people into the sport. This helps it to grow; it also opens the door to longer and more challenging sailing trips, overnight trips and races, distance events, match racing, as well as a plethora of cruising and adventure options. I want to make sure that sailors, current and future, have the opportunity to experience bigger boats.”
When speaking with NC State head coach Dana Magliola, he expressed his excitement for an offshore program, “It’s a great chance to grow our program and bring more people into the sport. We’ve been successful building a dinghy program here in Raleigh and working with engaged alumni like Trey is a great way to expand.” Magliola continued, “We’re very thankful to have Trey involved and to sail on such a beast of a race boat.”
OFFSHORE SAILING INFO SESSION:
The NC State sailing offshore team is open to all Sailing Club at NC State members. The offshore team will train several weekends in Charleston and compete in a major regatta in Annapolis, as well as other offshore events in Charleston. Students who are interested should join the Sailing Club and attend an upcoming interest meeting on Thursday, September 22nd at Carmichael Gym, Room 2037 at 6PM. Additional information on the offshore sailing team meeting will be posted at go.ncsu.edu/sailing.
Elizabeth Blenk is a sophomore aerospace engineer and second-year SailPack veteran crew
on the co-ed race team. The Johnstown, Ohio native is a longtime sailor and raced
competitively in the 420 class prior to attending NC State University.