Sailor of the Week: June 10-16
Sailing prodigy Charlie Buckingham of Georgetown University and a member of the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, has spent the last two years blazing through both international and intercollegiate Laser class competition. Last week at the ICSA National Championships in San Francisco, Charlie received the Everett B. Morris Trophy for the Men’s Collegiate Sailor of the Year as a sophomore for the Hoyas sailing team. “This is by far the biggest award I have ever won in my life,” said Charlie. “I’m still in shock from the time they said my name in the St. Francis (Yacht Club) dining room. It is truly an honor to have been chosen as the recipient for this award and right now I couldn’t be happier.” He was also named an ICSA All-American. Charlie’s Hoyas finished third in both the Co-ed and Team Racing National Championships.
At the age of 20, Charlie has excelled in every step of the way through his maturation process as an elite Laser sailor. He took a similar path chosen by several US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics members by competing at US SAILNG’s 2008 US Youth Championship and finishing third. Charlie qualified for the team by competing at US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR, an ISAF World Cup event, in 2008 and 2009. He qualified by finishing fifth in 2008, and in 2009 he finished 11th. Charlie is adamant about how important sailing at the collegiate level has been to his development. “College sailing has provided me with some of the best racing and competition I have ever done,” he said. “The amount of talented sailors in the college sailing circuit that I get to practice with, and race against every weekend is unbelievable.”
Charlie learned to sail by frequently crewing for his father in local regattas around Newport Harbor in California. His first full summer of sailing was done in a Naples Sabot when he was 8 years old, as part of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club Junior Sailing Program. Charlie’s entire family sails, including his three sisters, and his father, Jim, is still competing in both Finn and Laser class regattas.
Next on tap for Charlie is more ISAF World Cup action. He’ll compete in Kiel, Germany, for the sixth World Cup event of the season on June 19-24. In August, he’ll compete against the best Laser sailors in the world at the Laser World Championship in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.