Sailor with Wrightsville Beach roots moving up college ranks

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By Sherri Robinson

Contributing Writer

Wrightsville Beach native Chase Carraway continues to develop the sailing skills that he started building in local waters as a member of the Carolina Yacht Club, only now he competes as a member of the prestigious Hobart and William Smith Colleges Sailing Team in Geneva, N.Y. The proclamation of the college, “Preparing students to lead lives of consequence,” mirrors Carraway’s path.

Carraway recently competed in the 2019 LaserPerformance Men’s Singlehanded Championships in Santa Barbara, California Nov. 10 and 11. He finished fourth in a field of 18 sailors giving Hobart it’s the best finish since Rob Crane ’09 was third in 2008. In his second trip to the ICSA Singlehanded Championships, he competed against sailors from Boston University, Brown, Cal State Long Beach, Christopher Newport, Coast Guard, College of Charleston, Merchant Marine Academy, Navy, Miami, St. Mary’s (Maryland), Stanford, Tulane, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Carraway qualified for this year’s championship with a third-place finish at the Carl Van Duyne MAISA Men’s Singlehanded Championship where he compiled 83 points on the weekend, finishing 13 points behind St. Mary’s Leo Butcher who won the regatta. He was in the top 10 in 11 of the 14 races and posted victories in the sixth and 12th races. He advanced to the Carl Van Duyne after winning the Laser North for the second straight year in Kings Point, New York, where he won four races and was in the top eight in the other four. In 2018, he finished ninth in Holland, Michigan, with six first-place finishes. Carraway is the first Hobart sailor since Sam Blouin ’12 to compete in two ICSA Singlehanded Championships. Blouin was 15th in Tampa, Florida, in 2010 and improved seven places to eighth in Chicago in 2011.

In tightly contested racing throughout the weekend, the top four sailors finished the weekend separated by a mere five points. Carraway compiled 70 points on the weekend, missing the podium by a single point. St. Mary’s College’s Leo Boucher won the Glen S. Foster Trophy as the national champion, finishing with 65 points. On Saturday, 10 races wrapped up the championship Sunday with four races in light and spotty conditions.

At the end of racing Saturday, Carraway sat in seventh place at the with 66 points with seven top 10 finishes in the first 10 races, including a victory in the second race. He made a charge up the leader board with a perfect Sunday winning all four races contested. Last year, he finished ninth at the LaserPerformance Singlehanded Nationals.

During his freshman racing season, Carraway won The Rookie Award for Sailing presented to the outstanding first-year Hobart sailor. He also competed in 10 regattas, helped Hobart and Smith place eighth at LaserPerformance Team Race National Championship, won his collegiate debut, finishing first at the Laser North Qualifier, was third at the Carl Van Duyne, MAISA Singlehanded Championship, helped Hobart win the War Memorial Regatta, finishing second in A Division, and, competing as crew in A Division, helped Hobart and William Smith finish first at the Gill Coed Western Semifinal. Earlier this year, Carraway, after four days packed with racing on Little Egg Harbor in Beach Haven, New Jersey, won the 2019 U.S. Youth Sailing Championship in the Laser division.

As a rising high school junior, the college sophomore and his parents traveled to Medemblik, The Netherlands, to allow Chase to compete in the Laser Radial World Championships. Young Carraway was a member of the U.S. Sailing Olympic Development Program Summer Youth Laser Radial Worlds Travel Team comprised of three male radial sailors, and three female radial sailors Olympic Development Program coaches coached these sailors in Medemblik. For two second consecutive years Carraway was selected and proudly represented his home club, the Carolina Yacht Club here in Wrightsville Beach, the South Atlantic Yacht Racing Association-District 12, the Lauderdale Yacht Club, South Atlantic Yacht Racing Association High School Sailing, Gulf Coast Youth Sailing Association and the United States of America. While at Cape Fear Academy, coached by Erika Reineke, Carraway was a four-year varsity letter winner and won two national championships
With Mom, “Boo,” and Dad, Stanley, squarely in his corner, a work ethic beyond belief, and a fire in his youthful belly, Chase Carraway is sailing into history. All while pursuing his undergraduate degree, representing Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and continuing in his preparation to lead that life of consequence.

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