Sailing students learn from Charleston champs

The College of Charleston crew take the students out on the water for a sailing excursion Thursday. (Leroy Burnell/

The coaches of the national co-ed sailing champions are showing the ropes to some new kids on the dock.

The College of Charleston sailing, headed by director Greg Fisher, finished Thursday its first of two summer advanced racing clinics. The clinic hosted 20 teenagers, most of them in high school who have had some experience sailing.

Fisher said he was proud to partner with the U.S.S. Yorktown for what Patriots Point Director of Education Keith Grybowski called “rock star treatment” for the kids.

“We’ve done clinics in the past and they were well attended, but it hasn’t drawn this talent level or diversity of walks of life until we partnered with the Yorktown,” Fisher said. “That has been really cool, and we hope it’s the beginning of a great relationship.”

Students in the clinic sleep in the crew’s quarters aboard the Yorktown, with the marina and sailing lessons a few minutes away.

Chris McCaffrey, 13, of Atlanta got the chance for new sailing experiences, even sailing one of his favorite boats for the first time.

“We had really great coaching,” he said.

McCaffrey said he’s excited that he will be able to sail on teams as he gets older.

“I might start a high school team,” he said.

The cost of the clinic is $600 for the three-day clinic. The second clinic is scheduled for July 23-25.