RWU Sailing Runner-Up at Team Racing National Championship

At RWU, sailors of all skill levels benefit from Amanda Callahan's expert coaching: RWU Sailing has qualified for National Championships in 12 of her 14 years as Head Sailing Coach.

By Anna Cohen
Spencer Cartwright and Rachel Holick Sailing
Spencer Cartwright '21 (left) and Rachel Holick '21.

Photo by Alison Chenard

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – RWU Sailing is celebrating its second-place finish at the 2021 College Sailing Team Race Nationals, an Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association National Championship Finals Regatta. 

"We went through most of this spring season undefeated in team racing events, so we thought we were on the right track," said Head Sailing Coach Amanda Callahan. "We team-raced really well during the event. We had some really big comebacks in a couple of races and out-team-raced a bunch of schools to get second place. We were really happy about that."

The U.S. Naval Academy hosted the championship and placed first. 

Twelve qualifying schools participated in the national championship. The schools each raced three boats at a time in a series of round robins (head-to-head races between each school). In the first round, all 12 schools competed. The top eight schools then moved on to compete against one another in another series of round robins, followed by the final four. While RWU beat the Naval Academy in their final race, the Naval Academy accumulated the fewest overall points, securing first place.

Skipper Spencer Cartwright '21 is team co-captain with Emily Gildea '21. He came to RWU from his home country of the Bahamas because he was looking for a school with a top sailing program and an esteemed Civil Engineering program. Browsing college sailing scores, he came across RWU. 

Spencer Cartwright
RWU Sailing Co-Captain Spencer Cartwright '21

Photo by Rob Migliaccio 

"Not many schools that sail also have Engineering," he said. "Engineering is all problem solving, and when you get down in the water, you need to come up with the best plan to get around the course the fastest way. Engineering and sailing are definitely aligned."

Cartwright is not alone in seeking out RWU for its strong sailing program. 

"A lot of folks from all over the country choose to come to Roger Williams because we compete at the highest level in college sailing. Sailing is a signature sport of Roger Williams because our campus is on the water, and Bristol has such a rich tradition of sailing in the marine industry," said Callahan. 

Once at Roger, sailors of all skill levels benefit from Callahan's expert coaching. RWU Sailing has qualified for National Championships in 12 of her 14 years as Head Sailing Coach.

"Coming into Roger, I wasn't that good at sailing to be honest, but with Amanda [Callahan] as our coach, it's a steep growth curve. No matter our skill level, she can turn us into the top sailors in college sailing. She's just amazing and fundamental to our success," said Cartwright. 

This year's College Sailing Team Race Nationals took place on June 2-3, 2021. Though pleased with their results, the sailing team is optimistically looking ahead to future competitions.

"Next year, the goal is to win it all," said Cartwright.  

2021 College Sailing Team Race Nationals