Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Waccamaw High School’s new sailing team recently finished sixth at its first competition in North Carolina.
Fifteen high schools from North Carolina and South Carolina competed in the inaugural SAISA Inland North Points Regatta at Lake Crabtree County Park in Mooresville, N.C.
“It was a good way to cut our teeth,” said Jan O’Tuel, the team’s manager.
Captain for A Fleet, skipper Griffin DesMarteau had an eighth-place finish with Matt Staub, Jacob O’Tuel and Ethan Chapman as crew.
Captain and skipper for B Fleet, Sydney Register had a fifth-place finish with Will Golden and Andrew Nappier. Register and Michael O’Tuel won their heat.
The regatta came just months after a donation of Vanguard 420 boats helped start the team.
Thirty-three students are learning how to sail and compete at the team’s home port of Hazzard Marine.
Of those 33, 12 want to compete in regattas, including five who want to compete in college, according to Jan O’Tuel. Many of the kids just want to learn about sailing.
“Any time in the future they will know what they’re doing when they get on a sailboat,” O’Tuel said.
The club is looking for volunteers with sailing experience, especially since it’s losing its coach, Tim Fitzgerald, at the end of the semester.
“We need people … who can come out and ride in the chase boat,” O’Tuel said. “Help the coach. Give him advice, tell him what to do. We need as many adults as possible.”
The sailing team isn’t spending a lot of time celebrating its successful debut. Practice is now focused on preparing for the South Atlantic Interscholastic Sailing Association’s Fall Championship in Charleston on Saturday.
For more information about volunteering or coaching, e-mail Jan O’Tuel at Janotuel@gmail.com
Staff writer Chris Sokoloski contributed to this report.
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