It took a little while, but the Georgetown sailing team is back on top.

For the first time since the 2006 regular season, the Georgetown coed sailing team was named the No. 1 team in the country. The Hoyas received nine of a possible 18 first-place votes, finishing ahead of St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Boston College in the rankings. Yale and Roger Williams rounded out the top five in the bi-weekly coaches’ poll that was released on March 11.

Head Coach Mike Callahan was not exactly expecting his team to do this well so early in the season. This team lost two starters and college sailor of the year Chris Behm from last year, but Callahan was quick to point out the talent level this team has.

“It’s not shocking that we have done as well as we have, and we can actually do better,” Callahan said.

The Hoyas achieved the number-one ranking on the strength of a victory at the John Jackson Regatta, over the weekend of March 7. This regatta featured 14 of the top 20 teams in the country, and was jointly hosted by Georgetown and Navy, with the finals taking place on the Potomac. The Hoyas easily made it to the second day of competition, tying for first in their group with a 6-1 record, and captured first place by going undefeated on Sunday, beating second-place Yale and third-place College of Charleston in the process.

All the boats had to perform well over that weekend to earn first place, but Coach Callahan specifically lauded the efforts and performance of sophomore skippers Charlie Buckingham and Evan Aras as “the leaders of the team.” The third boat was skippered alternately by senior captain Nik Holtan and junior Marco Teixidor, depending on the conditions. Buckingham’s and Aras’ boats were crewed by juniors Alexandra Taylor and Caila Johnson respectively, and Teixidor’s and Holtan’s boats by seniors Andi Bailey and Carly Chamberlain.

The Georgetown sailors also took advantage of their familiarity with the conditions on the Potomac.

“Sailing at your home site certainly gives you an advantage . there’s little quirks that you know about the racecourse,” Callahan said.

The sailing team’s first race as the number-one team in the country was at Saint Mary’s this past weekend, and the team followed its first-place finish at the John Jackson regatta with a third place finish at Saint Mary’s. Despite beating the two teams that eventually finished in front of them, Saint Mary’s and Boston College, the Hoyas were unable to overcome a loss to a Brown team that did not make the finals.

The women’s team has also had some success, and is now ranked second in the country behind the College of Charleston and just ahead of Yale. The women’s team had ended the fall season on a high note, by capturing the fall championship, but a difficult start to the season that involved the cancellation and shortening of several meets saw them slip a little bit in the rankings. Despite what might be perceived as a minor slump following their victorious fall campaign, Coach Callahan is happy with his team’s performance.

“[Although] the girls can certainly improve, we are much better off than what we’d expected ourselves to be,” Callahan said.

Next weekend, the coed team will try to retain its top ranking with a strong performance in the Truxtun Regatta at the Naval Academy, while the second-ranked women’s team will stake a claim to the top ranking at a race at St. Mary’s.

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