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First Oriental Sailpack Invitational Regatta
More College Events Possible This Year & Next
March 17, 2015

D
espite the rain on Saturday, Oriental had a welcome sight, especially for those worried that sailing’s numbers are down among younger people. On Saturday, 64 sailors from 9 colleges competed in the waters of the Neuse River in the first intercollegiate regatta of its kind in Oriental. There is already talk of hosting more.

sailpack regatta 2015
Countering the forces of the wind near the Oriental waterfront.

The Oriental Sailpack Invitational Regatta, organized by NC State’s Sailpack sailing team and the Bow to Stern Boating Center in Oriental, drew sailors from as far away as Florida State University, Syracuse University and the Merchant Marine Academy in NY.

sailpack regatta 2015
The skies opened on the regatta, but no one complained, nor wanted the courses shortened. It carried on.

Other schools taking part were NCSU, College of Charleston, Davidson, Auburn, Salisbury University, and UNC Charlotte.

sailpack regatta 2015
College of Charleston crew counterbalances the sail of the FJ on the Oriental waterfront.

The genesis of this intercollegiate regatta happening in Oriental can be traced to the fact that four of the Sailpack team come from Oriental. Jim Edwards says that last fall, one of them, freshman Kara Wheeler, asked about some team members renting Flying Juniors from Bow to Stern so they could compete in September’s Greens Creek Challenge. After just the first weekend in Oriental, the Sailpack coach, Dana Magliola said it ‘surely won’t be the last you see of the SailPack.’ Some of the team returned the following weekend for the Oriental Cup Regatta and Magliola spoke of a possible regatta in the spring.

sailpack regatta 2015
In Boat 6, James Stonecypher and Kara Wheeler one of several NCSU Sailpack crews.

The scope of that grew this winter when Jim Edwards’ Bow to Stern acquired 18 more Flying Juniors, expanding its fleet to 24. That meant that as many as two dozen crews of two could train — and during a regatta, compete — at one time. That made it possible to invite even more schools — not only in the South Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association but the Mid-Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association as well, which drew the NY schools — Syracuse and the Merchant Marine Academy.

Those two schools and NCSU’s team spent their week of spring break training here in Oriental.

sailpack regatta 2015
The river is wide – the widest the US – but the quarters were tight. In middle of it is the crew from the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kingspoint, NY, sailing in decidedly warmer waters than Long Island Sound.

Since NCSU was the host school, a member of the Sailpack team, senior David Rogers, organized Saturday’s race course. Here in town, Bow to Stern sought volunteers to help. Many came thru for the officiating of the race. Bill Michne, Commodore of the Oriental Dinghy Club served as PRO. ODC contributed gear to be used on the course. On land, area residents provided accommodations Friday night — and during the week — for the student sailors. A Friday night BBQ dinner to raise funds for the Sailpack sold out.

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Regatta Chairman, David Rogers of NCSU, at the Bow to Stern meeting before the races.

More of the story and photos, ahead.

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For the regatta, some teams brought as many as a dozen or so sailors. The US Merchant Marine Academy brought just two and so combined with other, bigger teams, as did the UNC-Charlotte team which was not yet a member of the South Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association. Since it was an invitational, none of the results counted toward the teams’ seasonal showings. Teams from College of Charleston, Florida State, NCSU took the top three places in the invitational. (See last page for the fuller rankings for the day.)

sailpack regatta 2015
Catching up. Having rounded the mark, crews from Auburn and College of Charleston look ahead to their next move.

Rain did fall and the winds blew, “every bit of 20” says Edwards. Several boats capsized, though all but one continued with the race. (Edwards notes that the sailors from the northern schools had more clothing for the kind of day it turned out to be than did some of the southern schools. (Their league requires that attire.)

sailpack regatta 2015
The winds were blowing, as shown by the ponytail wind indicator on one College of Charleston sailor.

Edwards says no one complained about the rain and that despite the weather the college sailors dismissed the suggesting of cutting the 4-leg race to 2 legs. After the 4th heat (each crew raced 6 heats) the race moved to the more protected waters inside of the bridge and they raced until the mid-afternoon.

sailpack regatta 2015
A Syracuse University crew.

It worked so well, that Edwards says there is discussion already about having one regatta — and perhaps two — in March 2016 as well as one or two weeks of sailing training to coincide with the various spring break weeks of the schools.

sailpack regatta 2015
Salisbury University in the swirl of the Neuse on Saturday.

Also, Oriental could see another intercollegiate regatta this fall. That could be another invitational regatta for sailing teams at only North Carolina schools — UNC, Duke, NCSU, UNC-Wilmington, UNC-Charlotte, Davidson and East Carolina. Discussions are underway.

sailpack regatta 2015
The newly expanded fleet of Flying Juniors at the Bow to Stern Boating Center. Bow to Stern’s Jim Edwards supplied the 24 FJ’s for the regatta. After acquiring 18 of the boats this winter, he says that cleared the way to invite many more schools to come to Oriental for the regatta — and for some, a week of training.
sailpack regatta 2015
Getting the boats prepped Saturday morning at Bow to Stern.
sailpack regatta 2015
NCSU’s David Rogers, who served as Regatta Chairman, explained the rules and course Saturday morning.
sailpack regatta 2015
Sailors came from 9 schools. Some didn’t have enough to create a team, so were banded with sailors from other schools. As an invitational, this was not a ‘points’ regatta, where the results would be counted.

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sailpack regatta 2015
Prepping FJ’s for the regatta Saturday morning.
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Snuggles, the Bow to Stern and Edwards’ family canine, takes in the regatta prep. One racing instruction, posted on a chalkboard, read, “Please do not feed the dog.”
sailpack regatta 2015
A crew from College of Charleston launches an FJ at Bow to Stern Boating Center, which provided the 24 Flying Juniors for the regatta.
sailpack regatta 2015
Halyard and fender swing, as implemented by a crew from the College of Charleston.
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NCSU crew buries a rail.

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sailpack regatta 2015
Andrew Bates and Clara Fuller Ashton of the Merchant Marine Academy.

sailpack regatta 2015

One NCSU crew – April Lamb and McKenna Marquart – sets off for the racecourse.

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At left, a team from Syracuse.
sailpack regatta 2015
There was wind — and rain — on the Neuse for Saturday’s regatta.
sailpack regatta 2015
In the midst of the boats.
sailpack regatta 2015
Four – of the 24 crews in each heat – round the marks early in the regatta.

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sailpack regatta 2015
Conditions were wet – suggesting the look of a vintage photo – but there were no complaints from the sailors about the rain. Racing started out on the Neuse off the Oriental shore, but as boats capsized and waves approached three feet, the competition moved to inside the Oriental bridge at at the meeting of Greens and Smith Creeks.
sailpack regatta 2015
A crew from the Chesapeake — Salisbury University in Maryland.
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College competition off the Oriental shoreline.
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Two of the NCSU crews.
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A yellow marker reflected near the hull of an FJ competing in the Oriental Sailpack Invitational Regatta on Saturday.

Results of the Oriental Sailpack Invitational Regatta:


SchoolTeam
A
B
TOTALS
1College of CharlestonCougars 2
21
14
35
2Florida State UniversityFlorida State
16
23
39
3North Carolina State UniversityRed and White
13
29
42
4Syracuse UniversityOrange 1
21
24
45
5North Carolina State UniversityWolfpack
39
33
72
6College of CharlestonCougars 1
30
48
78
7Syracuse UniversityOrange 2
47
44
91
8North Carolina State UniversityRed Terror
51
47
98
9North Carolina State UniversityUNC Charlotte
47
52
99
10Davidson CollegeWildcats
61
53
114
11Salisbury UniversitySeagulls
53
62
115
12Auburn UniversityTigers
70
58
128

Jim Edwards of Bow to Stern Boating Center sends out a thank you to the many people who helped with the Oriental Sailpack Invitational Regatta.

Posted Tuesday March 17, 2015 by Melinda Penkava


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