Despite oppressive heat, sailing is in full swing

Lightnings sail toward the finish line in Charleston Harbor during last weekend's Charleston Yacht Club Open Regatta.

The beautiful California-like weather we had last weekend is gone, and our Charleston heat wave weather is back.

With the heat also comes little to no breeze, and the typical summer afternoon thunderstorms have been -- well, they just haven't been around. But nonetheless, summer is in full swing.

Almost everyday you can see 30-50 small boats sailing in Charleston Harbor through junior sail programs with kids ages 5-18 manning the boats.

There have been three open regattas with Carolina and Rockville in our future and there are on average 45 boats out racing on Wednesday evenings. I love summer!

Many sailors came out last weekend for the Charleston Yacht Club Open Regatta. Although there were only 76 boats registered, the level of competition was high.

Two fellow female sailors were honored following the regatta. Katy Perrin was presented with the ChYC Women's Award, and Rose Rowland Hamm was awarded the Lockwood Trophy.

I was amazed by all the youth that competed in challenging conditions and showed no fear. Not only are area youth doing well locally, but also around the country.

Fanning sails to victory

Charleston-area sailors Avery Fanning and Nick Valente competed in the Laser North American Championships last week. Fanning finished first with Valente finished fifth overall.

Both young men are doing a great job representing Charleston and are consistently sailing at the top of the Laser radial fleet in major events.

The Laser North Americans were held at the Brant Breach Yacht Club in New Jersey. The radial fleet had 144 boats, and the conditions ranged from light air to 25-plus knots.

In addition, both Fanning and Valente were selected to sail at the U.S. Sailing Youth Championship in Newport, R.I., in mid-August.

To qualify for the event, sailors needed to: 1. Compete in the best regattas you can manage (U.S. Junior Champs, eliminations, Orange Bowl, class championships, major regattas in your region and high school competitions); 2. Finish in the top 10 percent of every regatta you attend; 3. Have good character.

This Saturday, Avery Fanning will head across the pond to compete in Laser Radial Youth Worlds in La Rochelle, France. We wish you safe travels and good luck!

Evening racing

The Charleston Sail Loft Summer Series continues every Wednesday evening through Aug. 24. After racing, stop by the Charleston Yacht Club for awards and $5 burgers. Results and boats that are looking for a crew can be found online at www.charlestonoceanracing.org.

Can't make the Wednesday night races? Bring your boat over to James Island Yacht Club for the Thursday night fun races. Fleets include Sunfish, Lightnings, Lasers, Windsurfers and more!

Summer sailing

There is still time to sign up and summer is the perfect time to learn to sail as the water is warm and there are many opportunities to get involved whether it be small dinghies or on keel boats.

Want to find a good fit for you? Visit www.sailcharleston.org.

Upcoming events

Every Wednesday: Charleston Sail Loft Summer Series

Every Thursday: JIYC Fun Racing

July 29-30: Carolina Yacht Club Open Regatta

August 6-7: Rockville Regatta

Jessica Koenig is executive director of Charleston Community Sailing. Contact her at jessica@charlestoncommunitysailing.org.