The Fort To Battery Race Takes Over Charleston

The Fort To Battery Race Takes Over Charleston

Fast is the new future.

The final horn goes off, and hundreds of flying objects seem to lift off the water in a sprint for Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. No, it’s not science fiction; it’s Tim Fitzgerald’s vision come to life. Four years ago, Tim moved to Charleston, SC from Kansas, left his snow shovel behind in search of a stronger connection to the sport of sailing. Fitzgerald has an impressive resume under his belt, he has made a name for himself sailing keelboats, as well as in the Thistle, Lightning, Laser and Sunfish classes, to name a few. Tim stood on the end of a dock looking out towards the Cooper River bridge and made a bet with a few friends that he couldn't make it to the bridge in 15 minutes. With this handshake, the concept for the Fort to Battery are was born.

As the current owner of a Hobie 20, and an avid kiteboarder and foilboarder, Tim believed that an adrenaline-fueled drag race in catamarans and other “flying” water-craft could bring the crowd. The Fort to Battery married the excitement of competitive sailing to the large tourism trade in Charleston. Each year competitors from all over the country pack their cars full of kites, boards, and gear and load their boats on trailers and set out for Charleston, with one mission in mind: to go fast.

While four miles in only five minutes, 52 seconds may seem like something only achievable by airplane... Foilboarder Zack Marks proved otherwise in 2016, setting the course record. Boats with top speeds under 20 mph need not apply, the race is a sight to behold, competitors, ages ranging from youth to 70+, scream downwind, dodging in and out of catamarans and avoiding each other, hundreds of spectators line the battery and parks shoreline of James Island, while helicopters hover overhead in attempt to capture the whole thing. It’s unlike anything the sailing world has seen, chaos and action. 2009 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, Bora Gulari, took the gold at the first race, saying ”I love events like this that are a bit different from our regular racing and have an element of chance and huge amount of fun to them.”

Fitzgerald hopes that the Fort to Battery will inspire more people, especially kids, to pick up the sport of sailing, and realize that the potential for racing goes far beyond a few laps around the race course. Fort to Battery 2017 will take place on April 29th, at approximately two p.m.. The race can be watched from Sunrise Park on James Island and seen from The Battery in downtownCharleston. The race will be live streamed at

Cover Image Credit: Fort to Battery

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What Female Athletes Must Do To Earn Equality In Their Sports

Athletics Beyond Title IV

If I were to ask who Aaron Judge is, odds are you would be able to tell me without any hesitation. However, if I asked you who Kelly Kretschman is, you would probably scratch your head, rack your memory, and conclude you have no idea. Then you would probably proceed to tell me more about how many homeruns Aaron Judge hit -- and forget to tell me how many times he struck out!

You would not be able to tell me how Kelly Kretschman has been an Olympic gold and silver medalist in softball, or that she was a four-time NCAA Division 1 All-American at the University of Alabama. You wouldn’t know that she has been the National Pro Fastpitch Most Valuable Player… three years in a row…. the last one awarded at the age of 38.

But it’s not your fault that you cannot identify one of the most phenomenal female athletes on this planet. Just as it’s not Kelly Kretschman’s fault that she will never make the amount of money or earn the same recognition as Aaron Judge, regardless that she hit .488 for the USSSA Pride in the National Pro Fastpitch League as opposed to Judge’s .284 average for the Yankees in Major League Baseball.The blame lies with the dynamic of a male-dominated sports world.

This is a problem cause it allows for little opportunity for women to have any type of substantial career or notable recognition in athletics. It is not right that female athletes do not have these opportunities to reach the highest level of recognition and reward. Something has to change.

We as women can put this disparity, this inequality, this lack of attention on the shoulders of the culture of the world. We can sit here and complain about how the world is dominated by this male sports world, that oppresses women. We can argue that if only we got more television coverage, if only we were paid more, then people would watch, then people would care.

Or, we can make an active movement towards equality for women in sports through EARNING television coverage, working hard to maintain this coverage, and using the resources that we already have to create attention and recognition for the female athletic world.

Earning attention is the first step to earning equality. Nothing was ever accomplished by complaining. And surely nothing was accomplished by sulking and feeling sorry for oneself.

So if female athletes want coverage, they have to earn it. It is not fair and it is not right, but it is the harsh reality is that Susan B. Anthony did not fight for the right to vote by complaining and sitting around. She fought through rallies, conventions, and activist work, proved herself worthy to vote, and eventually with the help of the other dynamic women earned it.

So how are female athletes going to earn this attention, this coverage, and most importantly this equality? The answer lies in a few factors, but what really must be taken advantage of is the fact that we have social media.

If television stations are not going to give equal coverage, female athletes can create equal coverage. There is Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and Facebook. There is Periscope. Women can create their own videos, their own highlight reals, their own stories.

They can now devise their own platforms and use them to broadcast their voices, successes, and athletic accomplishments. Social media is going to be the key to earning initial attention that is crucial if female athletes aspire to anything more than what we have now.

It is also necessary that those female figures and highly recognized female athletes really utilize their social media platforms and their voices to promote females in sports. They figured out how to break through the male sports world to gain some recognition. They have the attention, so they need to help other female athletes boost their following in their respective sports.

For example, Billie Jean King has built up a profile with both men and women by her amazing feats in tennis. She now heads the Women in Sports Foundation and hosts conferences and galas to specifically recognize the amazing accomplishments of women in sports. This is not saying that other female athletes have to start their own foundations; but, they can promote each other. For example, players in the WNBA can start conversations on social media about the NPF and vice versa.

Now, female athletics has begun to gain more attention, and ultimately more coverage. This year, every single NCAA Division 1 Softball Tournament was broadcast by ESPN. However, it is crucial for equality that once we have the coverage that we make the absolute most of it.

We must demonstrate to the broadcasting stations, the advertisers, and the audience of both males and females, that women’s sports can be entertaining and can make money. In the most simplest of terms, female athletics needs to make the most of every single opportunity that is given to them; and, in the past five years, they have been doing just that.

The number of viewers of the NCAA Women’s basketball tournament has drastically increased by almost 20% every year over a three-year period, meaning that the amount of people who are watching the Women’s NCAA tournament is increasing by 20% every time the tournament is broadcast.

In addition, the week of the NCAA Division 1 Women’s College World Series had 9% better ratings than the programs that ESPN broadcast the previous week. In addition, the ratings from the week of the Women’s College World Series in 2017 had an 8% better rating than the week of the Women’s College World Series in 2016.

The viewership is increasing with every opportunity. The coverage increased in the World Series and the ratings increased. To further this point, I also examined the comparison between the men’s NCAA Divison 1 Baseball World Series. In the past three years, each game broadcast on ESPN averaged 1,476,111 viewers.

In comparison, each women’s game broadcast averaged 1,627,950. The coverage was equal. Both were championship series. Both were college athletics. Both were sports of a similar type of entertainment. And, in the midst of this equality… women win. If we continue to make the most of these opportunities, we will start to gain more and more recognition. Like the rookie beginning in the minor leagues, with each stolen base, each diving play, we have the possibility of getting called up.

Female athletics has a chance to positively impact the way that people view sports and females in general. No, the coverage is not there yet. Yes, there are still battles of money, viewership, and advertising that are still not won. However, if females continue to persist and make the most they can with all of the resources they can, then maybe one day Kelly Kretschman will be just as famous as Aaron Judge and female athletes can earn the same amount of money through the same amount of coverage as male sports.

Cover Image Credit: bigstock

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13 Things Only Runners Can Understand, Most People Just Think We're Crazy

Shin splints, tan lines, and chaffing, just a few things we all know too well.

As crazy as it may sound, I have always loved to run. In my opinion, it is a great stress release and an even better way to stay in shape. I know there are many other people out there who feel the same way about running too. So for my fellow runners out there, this one is for you!

1. When your phone dies during a run

2. The awful pain of shin splints

3. Your legs are almost always covered with KT Tape

4. You have a love-hate relationship with running

5. Runner's high is all too real

6. When it's race day and you have to hydrate

See also: Running Is Just As Mental As It Is Physical, That's Just A Fact

7. Getting a free t-shirt somehow justifies a race entry fee of $50+

8. It feels like Christmas day when you get a new pair of running shoes

9. When you finish a race and are about to eat everything in sight

10. People always think you're crazy because you like to run

11. You have your personal route you always run

12. You know how to run through an injury

13. There is no better feeling of success than finishing a race

So yeah we may be crazy for loving running, and sometimes we may question why we run because it can be very painful and exhausting, but in the end, it is always very rewarding.

Cover Image Credit: Steven Panicko

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