As any CofC graduate worth his or her (sea) salt knows, one of the great things about attending the College is its maritime locale. For students who want to get out on the water, the College offers a number of recreational opportunities, from sea kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding to sailing and surfing.
But what you probably don’t know is that the gentlemen who oversee the latter two, Kevin Jewett and Kai Dilling ’93, are brothers-in-law (they’re married to sisters Carolina ’05 and Francisca Davila ’02, respectively). Jewett was named the director of sailing last fall, while Dilling has been teaching Beginning Surfing each fall semester since 2015, making the College one of only two schools on the East Coast to offer surfing for college credit (the other is the Florida Institute of Technology).
“Like kayaking and paddleboarding, surfing is another thing you can do in Charleston for the rest of your life. It has a tremendous amount of value to people and can be a life-changer, just like sailing,” says Dilling, who’s thrilled to have his brother-in-law at the College now. “He’s fantastic. He’s the best. He’s like a brother.”
Jewett, whose son Augie was on the team before graduating this May, is excited to be taking over the national championship sailing program from Greg Fisher, although it’s a little bit like replacing Dabo Swinney at Clemson.
“I want to continue what it’s always been – a program that can always be in the game at the end of the year competing for that national championship,” says Jewett. “They’ve had some great success lately. It is a huge bonus and expectation, but it’s an honor to get the role.”
While Dilling grew up right here in Charleston and owns Sol Surfers Surf Camp out on Folly Beach, Jewett is from Lake Minnetonka, Minn., where he became a champion windsurfer and sailor before getting into the sailing school business. Most recently, he was coaching high-level sailing racers and consulting with yacht clubs through his Charleston-based company Sea & Caye.
When they’re not too busy with their respective College duties, Dilling and Jewett often hang out together, surfing and sailing (what else?).
“For someone who grew up in Minnesota, Kevin surfs really well,” says Dilling. “He’s talented at anything he does.” Adds Jewett: “I’ve raced with Kai, and I’d have him on my team any time.”
Brotherly-in-law love is a beautiful thing.
Featured image of Kevin Jewett and Kai Dilling ’93 by Mike Ledford.