The College of Charleston sailing team, ranked No. 7 in Sailing World’s season-opening rankings, took on all comers and came out victorious against the top teams in the country last weekend.
The Cougars won two of the fall’s biggest intersections by sweeping the Hatch Brown in Boston and the Nevins Trophy in Kings Point, N.Y. To top it off, a quartet of Charleston freshmen won North Points #2 in Knoxville, Tenn., defeating a nine-team field from across the south.
Charleston was one of the few teams to split its sailors between the Hatch Brown and Nevins, and between the two regattas the Cougars topped No. 1 Yale, No. 2 Boston College, No. 4 Georgetown, No. 5 Roger Williams and No. 6 Wisconsin. Hatch Brown featured an 18-school field, while 20 teams sailed in the Nevins.
“We had some great results this weekend and I am very proud of my teammates,” Charleston sailor Zeke Horowitz told CofCsports.com. “To win the Hatch Brown and the Nevins Trophy on the same weekend says a lot about the strength and depth of our team this season. It was a remarkable feat.”
Horowitz, a senior skipper and the Cougars’ team captain, led Charleston to a dominating win in B Division at Hatch Brown, along with crew Cory DeCollibus. Junior All-American skipper Mac Mace and Perry Emsiek took third in A Division, while Chris Banholzer and Sarah Somes took third in C Division.
But while Charleston charged to a 37-point win in Boston, it was the Nevins Trophy, raced in Long Island Sound, that proved the depth and diversity of the Cougars. The Nevins is sailed in three different classes of boats – the double-crewed FJ and 420, and the single-handed Laser – over a series of 18 races. And even though the Cougars did not win any of the three divisions, their team total was enough to hold on for a two-point win over Georgetown, 361-363.
Sam Stokes and Brooks Clark finished with the same number of points as the seventh-place team in A Division, but fell to ninth on a head-to-head tiebreaker. Ben Spector and Alyssa Aitken placed third in B Division, while Erik Bowers took third in C Division, the Laser division.
Meanwhile, freshmen Nick Johnstone, Ali Blumenthal, Clerc Cooper and Tierney Driscoll led the Cougars to wins in the first four of the six races at North Points #2.
The team finished first in both A and B divisions to top Clemson, 9-16. Cross-town rivals The Citadel finished fourth, with 26 points.
“It was a tremendous accomplishment for the whole team,” said Greg Fisher, Charleston’s director of sailing.
Charleston’s women’s team will stay home this weekend for the home-hosted SAISA Women’s Singlehanded Championship and SAISA Fall Women’s Championship, on Charleston Harbor. The Cougars will also sail at the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Intersectional in Mt. St. Mary’s College, Md., and at North Points #3 at Clemson.