MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - In its fall season opener, the third-ranked College of Charleston coed sailing team prevailed with a 31-point victory over second-place and in-district rival South Florida to win the home-hosted SAISA Open on Sunday in Charleston Harbor.
The Cougars, who scored 62 overall points, were among an 18-team field comprised of USF (93 points), Eckerd College, Georgia Tech, Miami (Fla.), UNC Wilmington, The Citadel, Duke, Florida, Rollins College, NC State, North Carolina, Auburn, Clemson, Florida Tech, Tennessee and Georgia.
They finished 1-2 in A-Division behind the teamwork of freshman skipper Jake Reynolds (Barrington, R.I.) and freshman crews Seppie McAdams (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) and Kyle Sutter (San Diego, Calif.), who turned in 32 first-place points, and freshman skipper Jack Jorgensen (La Canada, Calif.) and freshman crews Katie Dowling (Coronado, Calif.) and Ryan Davidson (Newport Beach, Calif.) with 51 second-place points.
CofC saw similar results in B-Division as freshman skipper Dodge Rees (Pensacola, Fla.) and sophomore crew Morgan Buckley (Yonkers, N.Y.) edged USF with a five-point first-place victory followed by freshman skipper Rebekah Schiff (Tampa, Fla.) and freshman crew Honore Johnson (Kingstown, R.I.) in third with 65 points.
Winds were out of the southwest between 8-10 knots and W4s were used. A-Division started in the new fleet of FJs, while B-Division sailed 420s. Four B races and 6 A races were completed, before a squall line caused the fleet to return to the J. Stewart Walker Sailing Complex.
After a short delay, sailors returned to Crab Bank to continue racing through 8A and 8B in winds 13-16 knots using Course No. 5 (Gold Cup). A-Division was sent in, while B-Division caught up in the racing. The sailors enjoyed the 'gamey' conditions created by the strong ebb tide and sea breeze as they turned the corner into the marina.
A slowly building Northwest wind allowed for great racing on the Cooper River. The divisions swapped fleets of boats to make the racing fair and square. Winds ranged from 6-10 knots and races were completed through 15A and 15B using W4s. The flood tide continued to increase causing several general recalls and a persistent I flag. All 36 boats maneuvered around the course, despite the tricky conditions. The sea breeze began to fight the northerly causing the race committee to call racing for the day.
The Cougars will continue fall competition at three road regattas this coming weekend at North Points #1 hosted by Tennessee on Sept. 15 in Knoxville, Tenn., the Nevins Trophy hosted by the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy on Sept. 15-16 in Kings Point, N.Y., and the Hatch Brown hosted by MIT on Sept. 15-16 in Boston, Mass.