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Sailors strike again

It was déjà vu this weekend at the South Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association’s district regatta for the College of Charleston sailing team, as USF upset the Cougars to reach nationals for the second consecutive year.

The Bulls tallied 27 points, defeating host Charleston, which scored 30 points.

Last year, USF was the host school and upset district favorite Charleston, breaking the Cougars’ streak of consecutive district victories.

The one-day event featured eight races in two divisions for a total of 16 races.

Picking up the victory at the district regatta qualified USF for the national race, which will be held June 1-7 in Detroit.

“I think that our team has caught a lot of people by surprise this year because we’re competing and beating some of the most respected teams in the country,” USF coach Stephanie Doyle said. “The reason for that is we have women on our team who are willing to work really hard to sail as best they can.”

The Bulls didn’t breeze through the district race without a challenge.

In the last Division A race, the mast of USF senior Genoa Griffin and freshman Ashley Reynolds’ boat fell.

The Bulls were winning the race up to that point and were forced to take a score of average.

USF had some good points throughout the weekend as well. Four sailors were named to the All-SAISA Team. Skippers Griffin and Ali Deese, along with crew Amanda Olivier and Claudia Aguado, received the recognition.

“The remarkable thing about Ali, Amanda and Claudia is that they never sailed prior to college,” Doyle said. “It is incredible for them to win SAISA and to be named to the all-conference team because most of the people they race against have been sailing all of their lives. I’m extremely proud of them.”