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SailPack Regatta Comes March 30 - April 1st
Coach Dana Magliola on the SailPack Regatta
March 23, 2018

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

his year marks the 4th year of the SailPack Oriental Intercollegiate Regatta and it’s shaping up to be the biggest one yet. With gracious support from individuals and businesses across the community including presenting sponsors River Dunes and Alamance Foods, this volunteer-organized event keeps exceeding expectations and this year will be no different.

Dana Maglioli, Coach of NC State's SailPack sailing team.With more than 150 college sailors and coaches registered for the event, it will be the largest-ever college regatta ever held in the Old North State, exceeding last year’s record-setting event. Teams from as far away as Pennsylvania and Florida will be competing including some of the nation’s best college teams. Seven of the top 10 teams in the South Atlantic conference will be sailing including top-ranked Jacksonville University and second-ranked Georgia Tech.

From the Mid-Atlantic conference, six competitive squads will be competing including the varsity Washington College Shorebirds and both the Maryland Terrapins, winners of the 2017 McCurdy Open, and the Virginia Tech Hokies, who placed first in the fall Nittany Lion Open, neither strangers to the podium.

In addition to these programs and the host NC State University SailPack, other teams competing include Clemson University, Davidson College, Drexel University, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Florida State University, Penn State University, University of Georgia, University of South Carolina, University of North Carolina-Wilmington, and the College of William & Mary.

Competition at this year’s regatta will see 20 boats on a packed starting line and tight racing all across the fleet. With two divisions sailing, the teams will complete 15 to 20 short races over the span of the two-day event and the cumulative low score for the event will determine the winners.

Races will be viewable on the historic Oriental waterfront from Lou Mac Park and South Avenue.

There are few if any other college sailing regattas with more local community fanfare and involvement. Most of the time, college sailing teams travel to regattas, sail and then return home. They rarely get to experience the flavor of the host site, so this regatta, and the warm welcome they receive in Oriental is truly special. “Each time we return to Oriental, we are amazed by the warmth and great enthusiasm we see from the community for sailing and sailors,” said NC State Team Captain Travis Tucker (Jr., Boone, NC). “Being able to share this great place with the rest of college sailing is an honor for our program.”

This year’s regatta will once again feature a large community barbeque hosted at the Red Rooster in Oriental with a North Carolina-style pig pickin’ and fixins, as well as a great performance by local favorite live band Saltwater Gold. The event is supported through ticket sales and sponsorships from Inland Waterways Provision Company, Inner Banks Sail & Canvas loft, and M&M’s Café. All of the college sailors and coaches in attendance are provided with free admission so no one leaves Oriental hungry – a favorite perk of all of the college sailors.

The barbeque begins at 6:00PM on Saturday at the Red Rooster Bar, right behind the Silos Restaurant on Broad Street-Extended. Last year’s barbeque was a sell-out and received local feedback as one of the best parties of the year. Following the barbeque, Bow to Stern Boating Center, home of the dinghy fleet and opening ceremony for the regatta, hosts a large bonfire.

One of the goals of starting this event in 2015 was to bring young sailors to town and let them learn about the wonderful community and conditions in Oriental and Pamlico County so that they might one day return. Beyond this introduction, the regatta itself has become a strong draw for parents, spectators, and other college sailors who are not competing, but travel to the event to spectate and enjoy the hospitality. Great local support from the Pamlico Coastal Activities Council, and the Pamlico Chamber of Commerce help spotlight this wonderful gem on the Neuse River.

The regatta begins on the morning of Saturday, March 31st with an opening ceremony at Bow to Stern Boating Center at 9:30AM directly following the skippers’ meeting. After launching boats, the teams will sail to the Neuse River and competition will begin shortly after 10:00AM if conditions allow. The regatta will continue until the afternoon with the final race of the day starting at 4:30PM. Sunday sailing will begin at 9:30AM once again at Bow to Stern Boating Center and racing will take place on the Neuse River adjacent to South Avenue in Oriental. Racing will end on Sunday around 2:30PM.

Live scoring for the event will be online here