Washington College Sailing placed 12th out of 16 teams in their last regatta

The team will graduate 3 seniors from their program as the season draws to an abrupt close

By Jensyn Hartzell

Elm Staff Writer

The Washington College’s Sailing Team traveled to Charleston, South Carolina to compete in the Charleston Spring Coed Inter-Conference Regatta on Saturday, March 7.

This became the final meet of their season. After the rapid and dangerous spread of the virus, COVID-19, the college was forced to cancel the remaining seasons of all spring sports for the safety of the athletes.

Sixteen different schools competed in this regatta, including some of the best in the nation like Clemson University, Tulane University, and Florida State University. 

WC was able to respectfully place 12th in the meet.

Freshman Stewart Gurnell and senior Andrew Vernon skippered the squad while freshman Emma Macturk and senior Ellie Lienert served as the crew. The College of Charleston placed first, University of Wisconsin placed second, and third was the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

Gurnell said that the meet “bonded the team as a family” and “furthered team development as they move forward into their fall season.” 

The team had three seniors, Ellie Lienert, Will Sunkler, and Andrew Vernon.

Lienert was awarded the Shorewomen of the week title (9/25/18) and sailed in 13 regattas in 2018-2019 season; she helped WC place third in the A Division at the Luce Regatta and sailed in both the War Memorial and American Regatta.

She sailed in six regattas in both her 2017-2018 and 2016-2017 seasons.

Vernon sailed in four regattas in the 2016-2017 season as a skipper and eight regattas in the 2017-2018 season. He sailed a team-high of fifteen regattas during his 2018-2019 season, helping the team place fifth in the B Division at The Grant; Vernon also assisted in third at the Luce Regatta and participated in the War Memorial and American Trophy.

He was Shoreman of the week twice in 2018 (9/11, 9/18) and elected the Team MVP in 2019.

Both Lienert and Vernon were captains of their team in their final season and were described as “bringing the team together and welcome everyone with open arms” by their fellow teammates.

Sunkler sailed in 10 regattas during his 2016-2017 season where he skippered WC to first in the B Division at the Salisbury Spring Open.

In 2017-2018, he once again sailed in 10 regattas. He sailed in five regattas in his 2018-2019 season as WC’s A Division skipper but was sadly injured in the fall.

Sunkler also participated in the third-place achievement at the Luce Regatta. He was awarded Shoremen of the Week twice as well, once in 2018 (4/10) and again in 2019 (10/14).

He was also elected the Team’s Most Improved in 2017. 

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