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Sunfish Women's NA Championship 


Article by Margaret Clarkson / Stephanie Copple

Photography by E. Clark, H. Ingram, C. Ward, Z. Windham

The 2021 Sunfish Women's North American Championship 

hosted by Columbia Sailing Club

In retrospect, this regatta fully embodied the spirit of sailing and its community. Columbia Sailing Club hosted 48 women sailors from 12 states with the farthest boat being trailered from Arizona! Many competitors flew into CAE and were able to "borrow a boat" from several of our generous club members. Thankfully, none of the women had to carry on their centerboard and have it mistaken again for an "Ironing Board Competition" by the airline pilot! The 2021 Sunfish Women's North American Championship included racers of all ages, from junior level all the way up to ... well, let's just say ... young at heart! 

Festivities began Friday evening, on the front porch of CSC, as we kicked off the "Welcome Aboard" party sponsored by Lake Murray Country. Joining our event were Congressman Joe Wilson and Representative Chip Huggins, along with Lake Murray Country's Miriam Atria, Vickie Davis, and Jayne Baker. It was a beautiful evening to celebrate our competitors and spark weekend camaraderie.

Sailors had their Sunfish sailboats rigged and ready to race Saturday morning. Some boats had extra tweaking after sailors attended the "Rigging, Trim, and Tuning" clinics organized by World Class Sailor, Mike Ingham. The first gun sounded at 10:30am. Competitors had calm conditions and completed four races with the last race proving to be the most exhilarating. 

After a full day of sailing, the competitors enjoyed a feast catered by Billy G's Carolina BBQ. The front porch of CSC offered a picturesque spot for members of yacht clubs from across the US to chat, compare racing stories, and relax while overlooking beautiful Lake Murray. 

Sunday morning was brisk as the numerous CSC Volunteers arrived for another busy day of helping load/unload boats. They wished the competitors good luck as the boats launched for a final day of racing. First gun rang at 9:30am and competitors enjoyed time on the water until the wind picked up from the west, Spence Island, and they were able to complete two more races. 

The awards ceremony was quite the finale as sailors celebrated a new record set for the Sunfish Class. Caroline Young won all 6 races, the only time in class history that a single sailor has won every race in a national or international event. Bravo, Caroline! She's headed for the 2021 World Championships in Sarasota, FL and qualified for a spot in the 2022 World Championship in Garda, Italy! 

We'd like to thank the competitors for coming to Columbia Sailing Club located on Lake Murray, the Jewel of SC. We'd also like to thank our sponsors: Lake Murray Country, Morgan Stanley - Jan Jernigan Financial Advisor, Plankowner Brewing Co, Tazza Kitchen, Southern Visions Real Estate, WIS TV, and the many club member sponsors and volunteers who made this event spectacular. 

CSC is heading into its 65th year and we're proud to host this event again after hosting it 27 years ago. We have a rich history of promoting female sailing, female flag officers, and getting more women on the water. Our commitment to honoring female sailors made CSC first in line to host this women's championship event in South Carolina.

We are also proud of our junior sailors and work diligently to get the next generation excited about sailing, "off the screens and on the water!" Our Junior Sailing Programs offer children plenty of tiller time, captaining a boat by themselves, from Point A to Point B, gives them great confidence that they carry into all aspects of their lives! 

Keep your eyes on the water for more CSC regattas this fall. Columbia Sailing Club looks forward to offering its classic hospitality for weekends filled with sailing adventures, friendships made, races won, and camaraderie that lasts a lifetime. Let's Sail!

Visit us online at:

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Photography by: Emery Clark, Hughes Ingram, and Chris Ward

Video by: Zach Windham

 292 Shuler Road | Columbia, SC 29212 | 803-764-6065