by Rich Roberts
Roger Williams University is an emerging collegiate power from Bristol, Rhode Island and Point Loma of San Diego is a perennial high school powerhouse - from the 7-8 January, they will lead their respective teams into the 27th annual Rose Bowl Regatta. The event, based at the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, is hosted by the USC Sailing Team and organized by the US Sailing Center of Long Beach.
Boat captain Jon Robinson - Rose Bowl Regatta
As many as 30 college teams from 11 states and Washington D.C. and 60 high school teams from the West Coast are entered. The collegians and high schoolers will race CFJ dinghies with two-person coed crews---male, female and mixed---on courses off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier in the Long Beach outer harbor. The high school Silver fleet will race inside Alamitos Bay off the beach adjacent to ABYC. Each school will be represented by A and B boats, combining scores.
Racing will start at 11 a.m. each day, conditions permitting. The pier will be open to spectators, with concessions and comfort stations available. The college fleet will feature several all-American skippers and crews, including Sydney Bolger, a top female honoree and ABYC member from Long Beach.
Boston College is the defending champion, but Roger Williams' rapidly developing team, ranked seventh a year ago, emerged from Mount Hope Bay in Bristol, R.I., to win the Team Race national title last spring and went on to win the top national coed ranking in fleet racing in November.
The Hawks' coach is Amanda Callahan, who previously coached at Stanford and Tufts, which were ninth and 13th in the latest coed rankings. She has applied that experience to building the team at Roger Williams.
'That's the benefit of coaching in a newer program,' she said. 'You get to pave your own way. The school has been growing, too. We're hoping a boathouse is next.'
Point Loma, currently leading Corona del Mar and Newport Harbor in the 2011-2012 season for the Roy E. Disney Trophy, will try to extend its dominance of the prep competition, now standing at seven consecutive Rose Bowl Regatta championships---most in feisty battles with Newport Harbor, which has placed second in the last six events.
The Pointers, long on talent, have entered three varsity and two junior varsity teams, currently led by Jake Reynolds from last year's winning varsity team.
The US Sailing Center, once envisioned solely as a training site to help sailors fulfill their Olympic dreams, has developed into a center of training for sailors of every ability, from developmental clinics and hosting of world-class regattas to coaching area high schools and the USC collegiate sailing team.
Programs also include Youth At-Risk activities, Learn-to-Sail classes for all ages and disabled sailing opportunities through the center's own Disabled Sailing Association.