Old rivals Williams and Lines team up in North Charleston
Katrina Williams and Julia Lines have put their sailing rivalry aside and joined forces for a common cause.
The pair are competing together for the first time on an all-women’s team, led by Belgian skipper Naomi Van den Bergh, at the Sperry Charleston Race Week in North Charleston, South Carolina.
The team are representing the Carolina Yacht Club and are competing on the Melges 32 Guillotine with Williams serving as spinnaker trimmer and Lines on bow.
“Julia and I are finally sailing together after years of being rivals on the Fitted Dinghies and have truly become some of each other’s biggest fans,” said Williams, who has represented Bermuda at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2007 and the ISAF Youth World Championships.
“I was trying to keep my cool and not call Julia immediately but she texted me and was so excited, so I could drop my cool-kid act.”
Lines added: “I’m thrilled to finally sail with Katrina after being rivals in fitted dinghies for the past five years or so. She has always been someone I look up to in the Bermuda sailing scene.
“Ever since she moved to North Carolina, we have tried to find ways to sail together and now it’s happening.”
Guillotine is one of two Melges 32 in the fleet.
Team skipper Van den Bergh, who is the development coach at the College of Charleston, has a wealth of offshore racing experience and has also competed in the Newport Bermuda Race. Catie Yeager will call the shots as the team’s tactician.
“This is my first time sailing on an all women’s team,” Lines said. “They are rare but are definitely becoming more common.
“Our team is primarily comprised of women from the Charleston area that I’ve competed against for the past five years, so it’s exciting to put all of our skills together to create a competitive team.”
The Sperry Charleston Race Week is the largest keelboat regatta in the Western Hemisphere.
The regatta features more than 260 teams competing across various divisions in both inshore and offshore racing and runs from today until Sunday.