Saturday, February 23, 2013

Growing sailing- Greg Fisher Interview

Greg Fisher- J/22 World Champion, College of Charleston director(Charleston, SC)- Past J/22 World Champion, Greg Fisher, has made it nearly a life-long endeavor to grow the sport of sailing, ensure those he sailed with, or taught how to sail, enjoyed the sport at every level-- day-sailing, racing, simply messing around, or just beer-can racing with buddies.

Recently, Scuttlebutt's Craig Leweck, had a chance to catch up with Greg.  As he explains, "West coast college sailing will take its annual leap from dinghies to keelboats next month with 10 teams from across the nation racing Catalina 37s in the sixth Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup/Cal Maritime Invitational Intercollegiate Regatta March 8-10. Among the fleet will be a bold newcomer to the game, the College of Charleston from South Carolina.

Charleston has one of the nation's top college sailing programs, ranked third in the country after the fall semester. But those events are mostly small boats, not the heavily crewed Catalina 37s otherwise seen in the  Congressional Cup and other ocean racing events.

Greg Fisher, now sailing director for the College of Charleston, is working to expand the Cougars' sailing program for big boats because, Fisher says, "it's an important part of the sport. (Note- they have a fleet of J/22s to fleet race, match race, and learn basic keelboat sailing).

"So many sailors love the offshore races with a different type of technical skills required. The whole atmosphere is different. I see how important big boat sailing it to the sport in general.

"With dinghy college sailing there is unfortunately a size limitation. If you're too big it's hard to be competitive. A lot of our guys on our offshore team who are going out [to California] to sail the Harbor Cup are
excellent sailors, but they're bigger guys and would have a hard time competing with the guys on our dinghy team."

"The team is all fired up and working hard at it," Fisher said. "This has given us the segue to go to our athletic department and say, hey, this is an opportunity to develop a new part of our team and offer more sailing for kids to come to our college."

For College of Charleston's Facebook page-
For more information about Greg's team at the College of Charleston-