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Underdog Team Sails Into Victory

Underdog Team Sails Into Victory

The USF Sailing team hosted the third regatta of the season on Sept. 24 and brought home a decisive victory in challenging conditions. The event was sailed in the school’s fleet of Flying Juniors, a competitive two-person dinghy raced in most college events. 

Competitors from universities across the state of Florida came to field a competitive fourteen boat fleet in both the A and B Divisions, made up of multiple Co-ed, Women’s and JV boats. The USF team brought thirteen sailors to the event in order to field a Co-ed, a women’s and a JV team to compete against other top schools, such as The University of Florida and Florida State for a spot in the regional qualifier.

Race day started at 11:30 a.m. with team members showing up ahead of the competition to rig boats, set courses and pitch tents by the water. After a brief competitors meeting, the teams hit the water and got off four races before the wind died.

While waiting for the wind to fill in teams chatted about the conditions, and caught up on current events. Darby Capellin, a sophomore, enjoyed the chance to talk to members of other teams.

“It’s really great to see the social interaction between other schools,” Capellin said. “We all know people from our different sailing backgrounds, and it’s really nice to have comradery like that.”

When the wind finally picked up again the race committee was able to fit in another two races which placed the Co-ed, Women’s and JV team in first, ninth and tenth respectively.

USF Coach Allison Jolly described the conditions for the day as “awful for sailing, but great for a day on the water.”

The wind was light and shifty but that didn’t stop the Co-ed Varsity team of  Scott Ewing and Darby Capellin in A fleet and Mike Sanandajian and  Mandi Dicki in the B fleet , from winning the event with a solid five point lead.

“I did pretty well in the first two races,” Scott Ewing, a junior, said. “It was really shifty and tough racing, but it’s easy to stay ahead once you’re ahead of the fleet.”

This event was important for the team as they seek to qualify once again for the fleet racing national championship that will be hosted by the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina.

“Last year they called us ‘the scrappy underdog team’ and we showed up and finished ninth overall. This year we want to be able to go back and show them that the Bulls are not a team to be messed with,” Ewing said. That’s what Coach Jolly thinks the team will do.

“We have a strong group of experienced sailors and a great group of recruits that are showing a lot of promise,” Jolly said. “We won this regatta with some experienced sailors and it gave us an opportunity to see what things our developing women’s and JV team need to work on.”
The University of South Florida will be hosting the Women’s Championship October 1st and 2nd. Mark your calendars and “seas” the opportunity to cheer on and support your team.

Coed Team:

Scott Ewing (‘18) and Darby Capellin (‘19)

Mike Sanandajian (‘18) and Mandy Dickie (‘18)


Women’s Team:

Delaney Brown (‘20)  and Shani Schwartz (‘19)

Rachel Yanelli (‘19) and Ginny Ware (‘20)


JV Team:

John Monahan (‘20) and Emily Alvarez (‘18)

Toby Perelmuter (‘18), Amy Rohr (‘18) and Marissa Jean (‘19)



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