Although born and raised in the coastal city of Charleston, S.C., Dana Magliola’s passion for sailing didn’t emerge until college. Between semesters at the University of Virginia, he would return home to crew larger keelboats in regattas. When Magliola and his wife eventually moved to Raleigh, N.C., his love for sailing was rekindled, and he began volunteer coaching for the N.C. State sailing team, known as the “SailPack”, in the late summer of 2012.
Formed in 1954, the N.C. State Sailing Club is part of the South Atlantic Interscholastic Sailing Association conference. When Magliola joined, the program had a roster of 10-12 students. By developing regular practices and training structure, team organization, fundraising and growing student leadership capabilities, NC State Sailing has grown into a nationally competitive program. Today, the SailPack roster boasts nearly 40 student-athletes competing in both dinghy and offshore keelboat racing at the national level against the best and most storied programs in the Intercollegiate Sailing Association, the governing body of the sport that includes nearly 300 colleges in the U.S. and Canada.
“A big part of this success is the culture we’ve been able to build on the team,” explains Magliola. “There are no egos here. If you have a question, ask it. It’s grown into a welcome environment to come as you are, but commit to push forward together as a team.”
In addition to competing in regattas (competitions) throughout the U.S., the club hosts two regattas at home in North Carolina. Scheduled for Oct. 12-13, 2019, the SailPack Women’s Intercollegiate Regatta at Lake Crabtree in Raleigh is a great opportunity to watch college sailing up close. It’s free, family-friendly and open to the public. In addition, their spring regatta hosted in Oriental, N.C., (known as the Sailing Capital of North Carolina) is the state’s largest collegiate one-design regatta with over 150 college sailors from as many as 20 colleges competing.
“We travel for regattas each weekend in the fall and spring seasons, driving all over the east and gulf coasts, so my AAA Premium Membership is really important,” shares Magliola. “AAA has even helped us with road troubles on the way back from a regatta — in the rain, in the middle of the night, and in rural Georgia en route from New Orleans to Raleigh. They came out and had us back on the road in no time!”
(Go Magazine Sept/Oct 2019)
(photo: Dana Magliola)