New FAST USA facility and program to include benefits for all Bay Area sailors, from public-school children to US Sailing Team athletes
San Francisco, CA – April 5, 2018 – FAST USA, the Facility for Advanced Sailing and Technology, has opened at Treasure Island Sailing Center (TISC). FAST USA combines the resources of a three-way partnership between TISC, the St. Francis Sailing Foundation, and US Sailing, the sport’s national governing body. The partnership will enhance the community-based activities of TISC and create a flagship training base for the US Sailing Team of unprecedented scope and technological sophistication.
The new FAST USA facility is the realization of the St. Francis Sailing Foundation’s long held dream of a seamless pathway from beginner-level sailor to expert, known as the “Puddles to Podium” initiative. It is a dream shared by the foundation’s partners, TISC and US Sailing.
“We have watched the successes that other sports have had in creating a national training center and permanent home for their top athletes, coaches and trainers,” said Peter Stoneberg, Chairman, FAST USA Committee. “For the first time in the history of American sailing, FAST USA at TISC will provide this home for the sport. New and Olympic sailors alike will be surrounded by world-class technology companies, universities and life science facilities. When added to the outstanding sail training conditions in San Francisco Bay, we will be mining Olympic gold on Treasure Island.”
The FAST USA concept caps a 20-year effort from TISC to bring novice and Olympic sailors together in the same Bay Area training facility. The program will create a legacy of opportunity, mentorship, and excellence in sailing. TISC and the St. Francis Sailing Foundation have worked together on existing community sailing programs including the highly successful Set Sail Learn program for San Francisco public school 4th graders.
“We are thrilled about this new partnership and what it means for kids in our community. Whether they join the Youth Racing Team, train to be a coach or teacher, or intern at a technology lab, there will be opportunities for them to become leaders in the sport of sailing,” said Carisa Harris, President of TISC.
“US Sailing’s commitment to FAST USA at TISC is comprehensive and unwavering,” said Jack Gierhart, CEO, US Sailing. “A revolutionary new facility of this kind at a well-established community sailing center will change the face of sailing on the West Coast. FAST USA will offer greatly expanded opportunities to experience and enjoy sailing in one of the world’s best sailing venues. We are proud to be a part of it.”
To highlight the launch of FAST USA, US Sailing has designated Treasure Island Sailing Center as one of the primary national training centers for the US Sailing Team. Forming the centerpiece of the new Olympic-level facility will be an extensive container-based structure that previously served as an America’s Cup team base and was donated to US Sailing in 2017. US Sailing selected TISC as the new home for this cutting-edge facility as well as several top national team coaches and staff.
“We are grateful to our partners at St. Francis Sailing Foundation and TISC for working with us to make this concept a game-changing reality for US Sailing Team athletes,” said Malcolm Page, two-time Olympic gold medalist and Chief of U.S. Olympic Sailing. “FAST USA will not only help us change the culture of our team and make us more competitive but give us a technical edge that no other national sailing team has.”
San Francisco Bay is known to competitive sailors worldwide for superb, year-round sailing conditions and areas optimal for both training and racing. The Bay offers a “menu” of varied conditions of wind and waves to suit the needs of students, athletes and coaches.
With technology playing an increasingly critical role in high-end athletics, FAST USA places America’s top sailing talent at the hub of US high-tech research and development. The Bay Area offers proximity to outstanding institutions of higher education and an ethos of innovation. The US Sailing Team’s technical staff will have access to an unprecedented breadth of technical solutions that will propel American sailors to medal-winning results.
“With the creation of FAST USA at TISC, we can offer high-level training opportunities for Bay Area sailors and Olympic hopefuls that currently do not exist,” said Bill Kreysler, President of the St. Francis Sailing Foundation. “This facility will bridge existing gaps between youth, high school, collegiate and high-performance sailing. FAST USA will be the first facility of its kind in the nation, and we are thrilled to have US Sailing putting the wind at our back here in San Francisco. The seamless pathway we envision is a perfect fit for US Sailing’s joint goals of expanding sailing access on the west coast and winning Olympic medals.”
Top: Rio 2016 Olympic sailing bronze medalist and Bay Area resident Caleb Paine (Richmond, Calif.) will make use of the FAST USA facility along with the rest of the US Sailing Team and local sailors of all levels of experience. Photo: US Sailing