USFSP Coed Sailing Team Wins Collegiate Offshore Regatta

A photo of six USFSP students in Charleston, SC, at a sailing regatta

From left: Pre-business administration junior Andrew “Ty” Baird, biology junior Mandi Dickie, pre-business administration freshman Cameron Smith, biology junior Michael Sanandajian, environmental policy senior Michael Trebilcock, and pre-business administration sophomore Orrin Star.

The USF St. Petersburg Coed Sailing Team continues a strong year of competition with a recent win at the Southern Collegiate Offshore Regatta in Charleston, S.C. The students competed in a series of seven races against eight universities from across the U.S., including the Californian Maritime Academy, Vanderbilt University, the U.S. Naval Academy, Auburn University, and the College of Charleston.

“It’s exciting to not only get USFSP’s name out there, but also to be able to use this as a recruitment tool,” said Coed Sailing Coach Alan Capellin, adding that this type of win shows prospective student sailors that USFSP and the Southern Atlantic Interscholastic Sailing Association have competitive sailing opportunities. “The stronger we make our team, the better we will perform and the stronger our conference will be at the national level.”

USFSP and other teams from across the SAISA conference are working together to recruit better sailors and to create stronger sailing programs. In the United States, there are a total of eight Intercollegiate Sailing Association conferences, including SAISA, with a total of 267 competing schools.

The event marked the first time USFSP competed in the regatta. The competition used a fleet of donated Performance Handicap Racing Fleet boats that were randomly assigned to each team. Using a handicapping formula, much like in golf, the judges added or subtracted time to the final score of each race depending on the handicap of each boat.

“I am very, very proud of our team,” said Capellin. “That makes three of four major collegiate big boat events we have won this year.”

On Feb. 25-26, USF St. Petersburg will host the Mendelblatt Regatta, an intercollegiate team race event. After that, the USF Sailing Team will compete in the Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup March 10-12, where they will compete against nine teams, including the University of California – Santa Barbara, the U.S. Coast Guard and Naval academies, and Team Ireland.

In November, members of the USFSP Coed Sailing Team took first place in the Kennedy Cup Intercollegiate Sailing Association National Collegiate Large Yacht Championship. The race qualified the team to represent the U.S. in the 37th annual Student Yachting World Cup in France later this year.