High School Sailing


High School sailing closely parallels the collegiate sailing format and all teams training at CSC are part of the Interscholastic Sailing Association (ISSA). Specifically, Columbia-area teams are part of the South Atlantic Interscholastic Sailing Association (SAISA) District. All Columbia area high schools teams will practice together as a Composite (Mixed) JV Team.  The JV Team designation allows CSC to mix area high schools sailors to continue learning and begin to practice and compete in Open High Schools Sailing events. Once a High School can field a full team (minimum of 2 skippers & 2 crew), the team can be designated Varsity and compete in Point Events.   



Most high school sailing is done in 420s, FJs or similar double-handed boats. High school sailing does have a singlehanded National Championship – the Cressy Trophy held each Fall in Lasers and Laser Radials. The focus of the CSC high school program is on doublehanded sailing, but we will support any sailors with experience interested in qualifying for the Cressy.



As well as daily coaching at practices, CSC provides coaching at weekend regattas. Varsity teams attend local events and travel to venues requiring overnight stays several times a season. Organization of all local and overnight trips is the responsibility of team captains and parents. Tuition covers all coaching expenses for regattas during the regular season. Tuition also covers the use of the =10 club-owned 420s.


The Fall and Spring Seasons

Teams participate in a number of regattas throughout the Fall and Spring seasons. The Fall season runs from September to November and the Spring season from March to May. The end of each season culminates in a District Championship and in the Spring, for those teams that qualify, the National Fleet Racing Championship (Mallory Cup) and National Team Racing Championship (Baker Cup).


Fleet Racing

For fleet racing, teams are divided into A and B divisions comprised of different skippers and crews for each division. Teams may substitute sailors as long as prescribed substitution rules are followed. Short courses are used, typically windward-leeward with a gate. Course completion times average 18 minutes. Except in rare cases, only 1 fleet is on the water at a time. Two races are completed and then divisions switch, and the boat being sailed by each team is rotated. This allows for coaching and a break. Boat rotation eliminates the possibility of any team having an advantage because of an inherently faster boat.


For more information, or to see if your high school team can train at CSC, contact our Sailing Director and Head Coach, Brandon Gerrald at (803) 920-8535 or brandon@columbisailingclub.org.