The idea began almost a year ago.
Lisa Mazzeo, mother of junior sailors who attend Beaufort Academy and a Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club board member, thought high school sailing teams and regattas would be possible in this area. She got Sue Hamilton, also of the Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club, on board. Teams from Beaufort Academy and Beaufort High School launched this past fall.
Beaufort Academy hosted its first high school regatta this past Saturday at Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club. Eight teams from North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia competed in the South Atlantic Interscholastic Sailing Association (SAISA) Lower Coastal North Points Regatta.
Wando won the regatta's overall division, which included 'A' and 'B' divisions. Six races were held in each division.
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The host Eagles finished third. Beaufort High did not compete Saturday.
"It's still starting, still growing," said Robert Bowden, who coaches sailors at Beaufort Academy and Beaufort High. "We thought it was great SAISA let us hold a regatta. We thought it would be a shot in the arm for our program."
Bowden said the races came together on short notice, with a little more than a week for race organizers to prepare.
The races were held in J20s, standard boats for high school regattas. Races were held just off the yacht club docks and lasted an average of 15 minutes, Bowden said. Power boats carried sailors to and from the dock and race course to try and speed up the process. Calm conditions left regatta officials scrambling to get in the minimum number of races.
Bowden, who has sailed 30 years, moved to Beaufort in 2004 after his wife opened a clothing store on Bay Street. The high school programs are a spin-off of Junior Sailing of Beaufort, which teaches sailing to youth, no matter if they are members of the yacht club.
"It makes sailing accessible for all to sail," Bowden said.
Bowden said interest in the teams has waned during the colder months but that he hopes warmer temperatures bring out more sailors.
SAISA Lower Coastal North Points Regatta
Saturday, Jan. 15
Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club
1. Wando 17
2. Richmond Hill (Ga.) 26
3. Beaufort Academy 36
4. Lake Norman (Charlotte) 44
5. Charleston School of the Arts 46
6. Wakefield (raleigh, N.C.) 53
7. Chapel Hill (N.C.) 54
8. Savannah Country Day 57
HHH KEEPS WINNING ... BY SLIMMEST OF MARGINS
Hilton Head High coach Dave Greenberg isn't exactly sure how long his nerves can hold up.
The Seahawks improved to 15-1 overall with a 43-36 win against Battery Creek. The key to their first 16 games -- finding a way to win the close games.
Hilton Head High has won five of its past six games by seven points or less and has been forced to come from behind to win its previous two and start Region 7-AAA with a 2-0 mark.
"We keep finding a way -- that's the important thing," Seahawks coach Dave Greenberg said Friday night. "But it's a stressful way to play, isn't it?"
The Seahawks travel to Lake Marion on Tuesday. As was the case Friday against the Dolphins, the Seahawks have struggled out of the gate in recent games, especially road contests.
Hilton Head High scored only three points in the first quarter Friday before clawing its way back over the next three quarters to earn the region victory.
BA GIRLS CLOSING IN ON GOALS
Before the season began, Beaufort Academy girls basketball coach Jay Gardner set three realistic goals for his young team -- to win 10 games, to qualify for the SCISAA Class 2-A playoffs and to finish third or higher in SCISAA Region 1-AA.
With nine games left on the regular-season schedule, the Eagles (8-5 overall, 4-2 in region play) are on target to meet or exceed all three goals.
The remaining schedule includes a home game Tuesday against region opponent First Baptist, which the Eagles beat 53-16 in the first meeting, as well as two games with struggling St. Andrew's. If the Eagles can win those three, they'll almost certainly ensure themselves of no worse than third place in the region behind frontrunners Bible Baptist and Thomas Heyward Academy, which would mean a spot in the playoffs.