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Sailpack 2024 This Weekend
Everything you need to know about this weekend
April 19, 2024

Dana Magliola, coach of North Carolina State’s SailPack sailing team, writes in to TownDock.net about this weekend’s SailPack Regatta.


The 2024 edition of the Sailpack Oriental Intercollegiate Regatta, held this coming weekend, features 18 colleges from all over the United States including Texas, Indiana, New York, the Carolinas, Florida, Virginia, and Maryland.

Coach Dana Magliola
The regatta event has become a springtime tradition in college sailing. Many college sailors and coaches rank it as their favorite regatta of the year.

Participating teams come to this regatta for the high level of competition and outstanding community hospitality. The charm of Oriental and the warm welcome sailors receive during their time in the Sailing Capital of North Carolina bring people back year after year, the event’s reputation sparking strong interest from new teams to participate annually.

This weekend, spectators should expect to see host NC State University Wolfpack in strong form – currently ranked 22nd nationally – and taking full advantage of their familiarity with the home-venue.

NC State will face strong competition from 2023 regatta winners, Jacksonville University Fins, as well as the University of South Florida Bulls, and the Christopher Newport University Captains; all varsity programs. These teams have met regularly throughout the season, most recently at the 2024 Azalea Bowl Regatta in Wilmington this past weekend. NC State defeated these and other rivals to win the regatta.

This year’s Sailpack Oriental Intercollegiate Regatta welcomes many returning teams including the University of Texas Longhorns, as well as new teams: the University of Indiana Hoosiers, and the Stony Brook University Seawolves.

Special in the landscape of college sailing, the Sailpack Oriental Intercollegiate Regatta combines a large, competitive regatta with teams from all over the country, adding hospitality and overwhelming community involvement to the mix. Having visiting teams hosted in the community makes for a unique and special experience for sailors and coaches. Host families also seem to enjoy getting to know their guests, often finding a new favorite college sailing team to cheer on in the process.

This event could not happen the generosity, hospitality, and enthusiasm of the entire Oriental community.

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The 2024 event begins Friday as college sailors and coaches arrive in Oriental, often well into late evening.

Saturday morning starts with a 9a report time for competitors and a 9:30a opening ceremony at Bow to Stern Boating Center. Saturday breakfast for competitors is provided through the generosity of Oriental’s three sailing clubs: the Oriental Dinghy Club (ODC), the Neuse Sailing Association (NSA), and Sailing Club of Oriental (SCOO). The community is invited to join and celebrate the opening ceremonies.

Competitors launch boats from Bow to Stern Boating Center and sail to the historic Oriental waterfront off South Avenue in front of Lou Mac Park. Racing commences around 10:15a. The race committee will try to complete 18 races in two divisions over the course of the two-day event.

Each race usually lasts anywhere between 15 and 20 minutes. In collegiate fleet racing, the lowest composite team score from both divisions earns the regatta victory. This weekend’s anticipated wind direction will also provide great spectating opportunities for the entire racecourse from ashore.

NC State sailors will be at Lou Mac Park and can provide inquiring spectators with explanations of what’s happening at the event and current standings. (Don’t hesitate to ask questions of any of the sailors because College Sailing can be kind of confusing with regular boat rotations and multiple races across two divisions.)

Live scoring can also be viewed on College Sailing’s event page here.

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Racing continues until 4p Saturday, when competitors will return to Bow to Stern, de-rig their boats, and get ready to enjoy the evening dinner featuring a traditional North Carolina style “pig pickin’” from the talented and generous pitmaster, Jim Kellenberger, a unique treat at this event.

Tickets to the dinner are available to community members for $15 and proceeds help defray the cost of hosting the regatta. Purchase at Bow to Stern before hand or on at the door. Dinner begins at Bow to Stern at 5:30 pm. There will also be live music on Saturday night complements of the popular Hoff ‘n’ Finch, who were a big hit in their regatta debut last year. Live music, great food, community fellowship and all the sailing talk you could ever ask for are also on the menu Saturday night.

Sunday morning sailors will report to Bow to Stern by 9:30 am, accommodating for their late night and recovery. Breakfast for the sailors on Sunday is provided by the generosity of the Rotary Club of Oriental. Teams will once again begin racing on the historic Oriental waterfront by 10:30 am, and continue until no later than 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

Sundays usually wrap up a little earlier so teams have an opportunity to get on the road home. Many have a long drive ahead of them. No doubt we will send them home Sunday smiling and reflecting on the great weekend they just had. We’ll also hear very soon thereafter that they want to return to Oriental for next year’s regatta.

The full list of competitors can be found here.

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