It has been a little over two months since College of Charleston senior sailor and two-time Olympian Juan Maegli (Guatemala City, Guatemala) competed amongst the world’s best in the Men’s Laser Class at the 2012 London Olympic Games – and the fierce competitor inside of him hasn’t stopped there.
Although he has raced in FJs and 420s this fall upon his return to the squad, single-handed boats are his specialty and this weekend, he won his second individual national title amongst college sailing’s best as the 2012 LaserPerformance/ICSA Men’s Singlehanded national champion and Glen S. Foster Trophy recipient.
It marked the College sailing program’s fifth all-time men’s singlehanded national, including Maegli’s previous title in 2009, and titles in 1988, 1990 and 1991.
After a delay waiting for wind on Sunday, racing got underway off of the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier in a nice westerly sea breeze ranging from 4 to 10 knots.
Maegli, who placed a career-best ninth overall in the medal race in London and a career-best fourth at the laser sailing world championships in May, went into the third day of nationals with a plan.
He led the 18-team field by an overwhelming 17-point margin after day two against the likes of defending champion Cam Cullman of Yale and 2011-12 College Sailor of the Year Chris Barnard of Georgetown.
Maegli extended his lead out to 24 points on the final day to claim top honors followed by Barnard in second (61 points), Kieran Chung of Stanford in third (107), Cullman in fourth (111) and Colin Smith of Brown in fifth (122).
“It was my goal to stay away from the fleet and protect my lead,” Maegli said. “Fortunately, my plan worked and I got a big lead during the first race of the day.”
Maegli clinched the regatta after the first race on Sunday and enjoyed a stress-free second race, knowing he had just won the national championship. But, this is not the final stop for him as he embarks on his third Olympic Games campaign in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“I’m off to Peru next week to sail in a training regatta for the Guatamalan Olympic Team,” he said.
With the victory, Maegli earned an invitation to compete for the U.S. Sailing O’Day Trophy, which is the National Singlehanded Championship for all sailors in the United States.