The College of Charleston’s sailing team upset four-time defending champion Yale en route to its second-ever team race national title on Sunday.
The Cougars swept their way to the Walter C. Wood Trophy in Sunday’s LaserPerformance College Sailing Team Race National Championship. In the friendly confines of Charleston’s Cooper River, the Cougars topped Georgetown and Boston College before sinking Yale’s hopes of winning five titles in a row in the final race of the day.
“I’m super proud of the team for such an amazing accomplishment,” says assistant coach Ward Cromwell. “It is the hardest national championship to win in college sailing. We had two losses that were right at the finish, we made some little mistakes and the other two were blow-outs, so that was hard, but we won when it counted and we sailed the boats well.”
The team cruised to a 21-4 record, while Yale finished second at 19-6. Georgetown and Boston College finished third and fourth, respectively, with 17-8 records.
The Cougars last took home the team race title in 2012.
“We didn’t make many errors and did a good job staying out of trouble,” says Cromwell. “Today we stayed hydrated and each team member had his or her routine to stay fresh and focused. Winning this event is a great accomplishment and winning it twice in 12 years is good, but winning it at home is even better.”
Stefano Peschiera (Lima, Peru), Jack Cusick (Fairfield, Connecticut) and Christophe Killian (Newport Beach, California) were the Cougars’ skippers, with Grace McCarthy (San Diego, California), Chloe Dapp (Newport Beach, California), Annabel Carrington (White Stone, Virginia), Caroline Bracken (Bridgewater, Massachusetts) and Elizabeth Pemberton (Osterville, Massachusetts) crewing.
CofC could take home more hardware later this week. O n Tuesday, the team is back in boats to compete in the semifinals of the Gil College Sailing National Championship. The top 18 teams from the 36-team semifinals will advance to the finals, scheduled for Thursday and Friday.
Photo by Michael Wiser