Ready For Action
Ready For Action
The Georgetown sailing team knew exactly what they were dealing with. The gusty San Francisco breeze failed to exhaust the determined Hoyas, who qualified for three InterCollegiate Sailing Association National championships this spring.
Copyright Glennon Stratton / www.gtsphotos.com
|Well-prepared on the boathandling front, Charlie Buckingham and crew Alex Taylor execute a tack during the ICSA Team Race Championship.|
"It was a long six days, but we were ready," says A-division skipper Charlie Buckingham, of Newport Beach, Calif., who sailed six consecutive days in two regattas. His performances at Coed and Team Race Nationals were of such caliber that Georgetown finished third in both regattas and Buckingham received All-American honors for the second year in a row. Because of his outstanding performance this year, Buckingham also garnered the Everett B. Morris Trophy, distinguishing him as the Men's Collegiate Sailor of the Year. He's only a sophomore, by the way.
In preparing for Nationals, did you focus more on team racing or fleet racing?
Truthfully, we really didn't do that much fleet racing practice. We worked on a lot of team racing combos and a progression of different drills, trying to get ready for Nationals. By practicing starts, combos, and all your team racing drills, you are doing a lot of boathandling. In the end, when you practice team racing, you do get in a lot of fleet racing practice because of all the boathandling work and concentrating on making your boat go fast. I felt like we were prepared for all three regattas.
Were you familiar with the San Francisco conditions?
I knew what they were like because I had done a couple of clinics at City Front, but I had never really done a serious regatta there. I knew going into it about the strong current and the strong wind, but I had never been in a true racing scenario. Until I got onto the starting line, I didn't actually know what to expect.
What was the biggest challenge for you at Nationals?
Basically the whole time I got pretty bad starts. I think it was a combination of the strong wind and really strong upwind current. I'm usually a pretty conservative starter and not very aggressive on the line and I think an aggressive starting strategy was rewarded at that regatta. In hindsight, I should have been a lot more aggressive, but I hadn't really practiced that style yet. I just did not get off the line as well as I needed to.
How did you get back to a good position during races?
Alex Taylor [Georgetown '10] and I are pretty fast together. We've worked really hard all year and usually when we didn't get a good start throughout the year we were able to play the shifts really well and work together to make everything in the boat go as best it could in the conditions. City Front was pretty much a one-sided track the whole time so basically the only thing we could do to dig back was try and go fast and catch a lot of boats downwind.