For one of the most storied sailing programs in the nation, the goal year in and year out has always been the same: mentor and produce world class sailors and compete for national championships.
For many young sailors first setting foot on campus, the school’s past Olympians naturally become both legend and role model as they pursue their own dreams of competing on the sport’s biggest stages. This near-perfect alignment of both athlete and program ambition is one of the key reasons behind Charleston’s success with nine Leonard B. Fowle Trophies, 27 national championships, eight College Sailor of the Year awards and almost 200 All-Americans to the program’s credit since its inception in 1978.
College of Charleston sailing has also produced six Olympians to date including two silver medalists in Jim Brady (Barcelona 1992) and John C. Lovell ’90 (Athens 2004). Three more former Cougars, each with their own prosperous career at the College, hope to add their names to that list when they set sail at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games on July 23–Aug. 8 in Tokyo, Japan.
“The drive and determination required to make it to the Games in the Laser is really hard to fathom,” Director of Sailing Kevin Jewett said. “These guys have been training more or less full time from their early teens and continue to find ways to make small improvements. Maintaining the incredible fitness required to compete is a huge challenge, especially in one of the most physically demanding sports in the Games. There will be 30+ boats in their fleet, all peak athletes representing their countries and fighting for the podium. Three of them share a bond that ties them beyond borders and that is pretty special.”
Leading the way for the Cougars’ medal hopes in Tokyo is 2013 ICSA College Sailor of the Year Juan Maegli ’15, who is making his fourth consecutive trip to the Olympics after finishing a career-best eighth in the medal race of the Men’s Laser event at the Rio Games in 2016. Maegli’s success in Charleston, highlighted by a pair of ICSA All-America nods and the 2013 Everett B. Morris Trophy as the College Sailor of the Year, has attracted numerous other international sailors to follow in his footsteps at the College.
These ranks include Enrique Arathoon ’17 and Stefano Peschiera ’18, who will be representing the nations of El Salvador and Peru, respectively, for the second time after both competed at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Arathoon finished 24th in Rio and will be the first sailor to represent El Salvador at two Olympic Games when racing begins later this week. A native of Guatemala City, Guatemala, Arathoon is eligible to represent El Salvador through his mother.