I am very lucky. I do something I love for a living: SAILING. My full-time job is running a local non-profit — Charleston Community Sailing. We help provide opportunities for anyone to get on the water, and I am fortunate to be able to share my passion with youth and adults alike.
Doing something you love can also be tough, sometimes I don’t want to go sailing. However, I am reminded almost daily that sailing teaches lifelong lessons and the people you meet along the way are truly amazing. So thank you Charleston for being such an awesome community and for reading my column.
With Beryl behind us and nothing looming in the Atlantic, here are a few ways to get on the water.
This weekend will be the 7th annual Special Olympics South Carolina Regatta, with 29 teams participating from Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Competitors will be sailing Hobie Cats and 420s. Head of Sports for Special Olympics Sailing, Meta Frasch, says “I am very much looking forward to the weekend and hope to get in 4-6 races per day.”
Opening ceremonies start at 8 p.m. today out of James Island Yacht Club and is open to all. Check out the air boat, helicopter, bag pipes, lighting of the torch and fireworks.
Charlestonian Alana O’Reilly, along with teammates Sally Barkow and Elizabeth Kratzig, have been competing as Team 7 Match Race and vying for a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team. Team 7 Match Race placed 2nd at the US Olympic Trials in which the winner took all. Up next for Alana, she will compete at Chicago this weekend for Chicago Match Racing Open Event, and then end of June she will head to Sweden for the Women’s Match Racing Worlds.
The 2012 College National Championships presented by Sperry Top Sider is being hosted by the University of Texas at the Austin YC. The event started with the Women’s National Champs with 18 schools qualifying for this event. The semifinals were sailed the past three days, and the College of Charleston women’s sailing team qualified second behind Conn College. Skippers Corey Hall and Grace Lucas, with crews Sarah Somes, Alyssa Aitken, Carly Shevitz and Perry Emsieck sailed hard in the tough conditions and are starting the finals, which should conclude Saturday.
The rest of the team left today from Charleston to compete in the Team Racing division and the Coed Division. The C of C team is ranked first in the Team Racing and second in the Coed going into the Nationals. For more information and up-to-date score, visit www.collegesailing.org.
Whether you are 5 or 50, summer is the perfect time to learn as the waters warm and the evenings on the water are amazing. Local area clubs offer sailing classes for kids ages 5-18. To find out what is the best option for your child, visit sailcharleston.org. Too old for camp? Don’t worry, there are still options. Catch a ride as crew after work on Wednesdays aboard a CORA (Charleston Ocean Racing Association) boat. Wednesday, June 6, marks the start of the Charleston Sail Loft Summer Series. To learn more, visit.charlestonoceanracing.org.
Got some sailing news? Shoot me an email.
Jessica Koenig is executive director of Charleston Community Sailing. Contact her at email@example.com.