College sailors of the year
2009 College Sailor of the Year – Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.), a rising junior at Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.), has been honored as ICSA’s 2009 College Sailor of the Year. The recognition is acknowledgement of a year that saw Buckingham excel whether fleet racing or team racing, sailing alone or with a crew. Last fall he finished first at the MAISA Singlehanded Championship and the MAISA Team Race Championship, was second in A-Division at The War Memorial Regatta (the conference championship) and the Coed Atlantic Coast Championships, and was sixth at the ICSA/Laser Performance Singlehanded Nationals. During the spring season which just wrapped up he won A-Division at both the Truxtun Umsted and the ICSA National Championship Eastern Semi-Finals, with the latter qualifying Georgetown to advance to the finals for the national title in San Francisco – the ICSA/Gill National Championship – at which Buckingham skippered to fourth in A-Division with the Hoyas finishing third in the overall standings.
“Charlie was the most consistent sailor in college sailing all year long,” said Mike Callahan, Georgetown’s Head Sailing Coach who in the last four years has had three of his sailors win this award. “From start to finish he sailed well. I think that is what clinched it for him. Others had a great regatta from time to time but Charlie was the most consistent.”
Buckingham’s parents and sisters all sail and he is a veteran of the competitive programs at Newport Harbor Yacht Club and Newport Harbor High School where he finished second in the high school national championships in his junior year before winning that event his senior year. His decision to attend Georgetown was based primarily on academics: “It was the best school I was accepted to, and it just so happened they had a good [sailing] program, so it made my decision easy.”
Buckingham has arranged to do a lot of sailing over the summer in his boat of choice – the Laser – and was about to head to Europe where he will compete at Kiel Week in Germany at the end of June. Along with five other college sailors he will spend three week s competing at British schools on the BUSA Team Racing Tour and then wrap up the summer by competing in his first Laser World championship.
“Pretty incredible,” was how Buckingham described winning the College Sailor of the Year honors. “After working hard all year, getting recognized at the end is really good. It’s been sinking in since I got home. Hard to describe the feeling, but I’m really happy.” Already a two-time ISCA All-American (’08, ’09) and with two more years of college sailing still ahead of him, is he thinking about winning this award again? “I’m just going to concentrate on sailing the best that I can. If the award comes again, it would be really cool. I didn’t have an inkling that I was in the running for it going into Nationals and wasn’t striving for it. If people fixate on stuff like that too much then they put too much pressure on themselves and that takes away from the performance you could have sailing for your team. You’re not doing your best to make your team’s result the best it could be. I’d really like to be as successful in college sailing as I can, and after college I’d like to pursue an Olympic campaign in the Laser.”
Quantum Female College Sailor of the Year – Jane Macky (Auckland, New Zealand), a graduating senior from Yale University (New Haven, Conn.), has been named the 2009 Quantum Female College Sailor of the Year. She is the first Bulldog to win the honor and, in addition, was named an ICSA All-American for the second year running (2008, 2009).
The Yale Women’s Sailing Team was ranked at or near the top all season, and Macky’s contributions were a big part of the equation. Last fall she finished fourth at the New England Women's Singlehanded Championship and was third at the ICSA Singlehanded Nationals, but it was sailing with long-time crew Marla Menninger that proved most rewarding with a win of A-Division at the Atlantic Coast Championship one of their top performances.
At the 2008 ICSA Women’s National Championship, Yale appeared to have a lock on the title after the first two days of racing. On the final day of the championship, Macky and Menninger won A-Division but problems in the B-Division boat kept Yale off the podium and the Bulldogs finished third overall. This time ‘round, Yale had a six point lead in the overall standings coming into the final day of racing and by the second race of the morning, it was clear that Macky and Menninger were working hard to keep the title within their grasp. Winning four of the day’s eight races moved the duo third to first in A-Division to secure Yale the 2009 ICSA Women’s National Championship title.
“I am still excited how we finished as a team,” said Macky. “We worked really hard as a team and it was fun to execute well at nationals. The Quantum award reflects mine and Marla’s career together. We didn’t let the pressure from last year affect us. When you’ve done all the practice you just go out and execute on the day. Being my last regatta after having a fantastic two years with Marla. . . it was just fun. “
From a sailing family, Macky was enjoying some down time in California after nationals ended, and admitted that she was putting off making her next move. Other than a weekend coaching job she has lined up, she is looking for a full-time permanent job with the plan of doing some sailing on the side. “I grew up in the City of Sails (Auckland) and my eldest sister twice represented New Zealand at the Olympics in the Europe class. I definitely have been going back and forth with the thoughts of an Olympic campaign . . . and maybe I’ll be in a better position to decide in about a year or so. “
2009 ICSA Sportsman of the Year – Boston College (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) graduating senior and four-time ICSA All-American (’06, ’07, ’08, ’09) Adam Roberts (Point Loma, Calif.) has been recognized as the 2009 ICSA Sportsman of the Year. Roberts was nominated by both competitors and coaches, from a variety of teams, and BC Head Coach Greg Wilkinson attributes the recognition to the fact that others enjoyed racing against him. “And it's important to keep in mind that for the most part, that meant that people enjoyed being beaten by him! He's quite good. As his coach, it seems to me that sailing's 'Corinthian spirit' is in Adam's blood. From day one, there was never a question as to whether or not he 'got it.'” This was the second time Roberts’s sportsmanship has earned him honors; earlier this spring t he New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association recognized him as its Sportsman of the Year. He helped Boston College win the 2008 and 2009 ICSA/APS Team Race National Championships and in 2007 he led the Eagles to a second place finish at the Sloop National Championships.
Roberts’s parents took up sailing when they moved to San Diego from the east coast and were in their 30s when they started racing. They made sailing a family project, and Roberts learned to sail in the San Diego Yacht Club (SDYC) junior program and later was a member of the sailing team that represented Point Loma High School. He went to BC for the academics and summed up his experience there: “It was awesome. It’s a great place, great atmosphere.”
“My whole approach to sailing is pretty effortless,” said Roberts. “When it comes down to it, I’m out there to have a good time. I want to have fun with my friends. I’ve known these people forever and getting to compete against them is great. I do like to avoid the protest room. I’m not very good at defending myself even when I’m right. Sailing is the kind of sport that can be solved on the water, and the end result is that I don’t really like to leave my regatta result to something that will be decided by a jury. It [the award] certainly means a lot. I have the utmost respect for every competitor, because to be honest, I feel any one of them could have won this.”
Roberts has now turned his attention to the 470, with hopes of making the 2012 Olympic Sailing Team. His crew is Nick Martin, a junior at the College of Charleston, a childhood friend with whom he has sailed now for over eight years. The two were in the SDYC junior program together and are spending this summer in Europe racing on the 470 circuit
“Roberts sailed at the extreme top level of college sailing--sometimes in the most bruising of battles and often to the top of the podium,” said Adam Werblow, Chairman of the ICSA All America Selection Committee. “He always played within the rules and was fun to race with and against no matter the result. He played extremely fairly and is the exact type of competitor that everyone hopes to play against. He’s one of the best guys in college sailing . . . he’s hard as hell to beat and if you do beat him, he is gracious about it.
Fowle Memorial Trophy – Yale University: The Leonard M. Fowle Memorial Trophy, recognizing the year’s best all-around performance in college sailing, has been awarded to Yale University (New Haven, Conn.) Presented since 1972, the award is determined by points accumulated at the major Intercollegiate Sailing Association Championships.
Last fall Yale finished fifth and third, respectively, at the ICSA/Vanguard Men’s Singlehanded and the ICSA/Vanguard Women’s Singlehanded Championship. At the end of May, Yale won the 2009 ICSA Women’s National Championship, was fourth at the ICSA/APS Team Race National Championship, and wrapped up the year with a second-place finish at the ICSA/Gill National Championship after an extremely tough series.