Hampton is sailing smoothly into the College Sailing National Championships

HAMPTON, Va. - Next week, Hampton's sailing team will make it's second straight trip to the College Sailing National Championships.

The Pirates practiced their upwind techniques.

That wasn't a realistic vision when Alessandro Ambrosi took over eight years ago. "The program was pretty low, by ranking, but we improved, and improved," said Ambrosi. "Now that we're here, this is not the final point."

Ambrosi's right. The Pirates are happy with being one of the top 18 teams in their region, but their goal this season has been clear from the start. "You go to race anytime to win, the big goal, is to win a national championship."

Hampton's main sail

The Pirates has won three regattas this season, and have beaten schools like Cornell, Old Dominion, and Virginia Tech, which helps with the jitters that might come with facing bigger schools.

The A Division boat team.

It's a tight-knit group, and family is a prevalent theme.

The Kuester siblings, Maximillian and Elisabeth, came from Italy to sail for the Pirates. "Having family close, living so far from, the rest of it, is something special, and I'm really happy about it." said Maximillian, who's also the team captain.

Elisabeth joined the team a year after her brother, and wasn't too fond of living with her brother when she first arrived. "I wasn't too enthusiastic about it, because living with your brother when you're 19 was not the coolest thing in my eyes," said Elisabeth. "A month here I realized how important he is for me here, because being far away from home is harder than I expected."

Hampton is hoping to bring back a national treasure next week. The championship starts on May 30th.