NATIONAL CHAMPION: Maegli delivers another title

College of Charleston senior and 2012 Olympian Juan Maegli blistered the top singlehanded field in collegiate sailing over the weekend to win his second ICSA men’s singlehanded national title.

Maegli, who also won the singlehanded title in 2009, demolished the 18-boat field – which featured both last season’s collegiate sailor of the year and the defending singlehanded champion – by 24 points. He finished with 37 points over 18 races to outdistance Georgetown’s Chris Barnard, who finished on 61. The next closest competitor was Stanford’s Kieran Chung at 107. The three-day regatta was held in Long Beach, Calif.

With four races remaining, Maegli held a slim, four-point lead over Barnard, at 33 to 37. But whereas the rough offshore conditions over the final races in the Olympics weren’t his specialty, the light winds off Long Beach allowed him to overpower the field. Maegli won the final four races of the regatta to blow away his closest competitors, and the rest of the elite field.

How dominate was his performance?

He won 10 of the 18 races, overall.

His lowest finish in any race over the final two days of the regatta was third.

He essentially lapped the field, securing the title with a race to spare. While he could have not started the 18th race and still taken home the victory, he instead went out and won it.

Maegli sailed in his second Olympics for his native Guatemala this summer, and was given the honor of carrying his country’s flag during the Parade of Nations. He finished ninth overall in the 49-boat Olympic field, including winning the first race of the 11-race regatta.

With the national collegiate title, Maegli also qualifies for the U.S. Singlehanded Championships, which will be held next July on the Manasquan River in New Jersey. But he has a few other things to take care of first.

“I’m off to Peru next week to sail in a training regatta for the Guatemalan Olympic Team,” he told CofCSports.com after the regatta.

Just another day for a national champion.

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