Michelle Slade

Youth Sailors Capitalize On A Challenging Year While Preparing For Better Sailing Days Ahead

The Foundation is proud to support an engaging and talented group of young sailors, including Carmen Berg, Cali Salinas, and Charlotte Versavel. All three kept their sailing in forward momentum throughout 2020, with a positive focus on better things to come this year, as they share here.

20-year old Cali Salinas from San Francisco, Calif., is a sophomore at Tufts. She’s been sailing for 7 years:
With COVID changing all of my plans by sending me home during my freshman spring semester at Tufts and having to stay at home, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to sail much at all for the remainder of the year. I honestly thought the year was not going to be one to remember, but I was quite wrong.

In June, I crewed on the Nacra 17 with Ben Rosenberg, both of us thinking we would just sail the boat for a week just for fun, but we discovered that we sailed well together. I had already sailed Nacra 15s in high school and missed going fast. The foiling Nacra 17 redefined what fast really meant to me. Ben and I decided we wanted to sail more together and drove the boat from Rhode Island to Long Beach, CA where we sailed with the US Sailing Team.

We ended up staying in Long Beach from July to October, doing school online. Being able to stay an extra month in Long Beach allowed us to reach a baseline that let us take some time off during college for a few months and come back to sailing and feeling comfortable in the boat.

Now that I am on winter break, I can get back to foiling everyday with Ben in Florida. We are currently in Fort Lauderdale sailing with the Olympic team, Riley Gibbs and Anna Weis coached by Sally Barkow and will go to Miami in a couple weeks to sail the Miami OCR events on the Nacra 17. We are learning lots sailing in the big waves in Fort Lauderdale and are excited to get to flat water, where foiling will feel like a piece of cake.

Our goal for the summer of 2021 is to medal at the Nacra 17 Junior World Championships in Gdynia, Poland. With all the physical training through Anna Tobias Tunnicliffe’s training program, the invaluable knowledge we’ve learned from the other Nacra 17 sailors, and especially from Sally Barkow, we see this goal as achievable. As a female crew, I am inspired everyday when I can sail alongside a powerhouse team like Riley/Anna who motivate Ben and I to follow their footsteps.

One of the main reasons I love sailing this boat is how much it pushes me physically and mentally. The crew position is so physically demanding, and I hope I can inspire other girls by showing them that sailing the boat like a girl is strong, fast, and beautiful.

17-year-old Carmen Berg is from Carmel, Calif. A junior at The Stevenson School, she’s been sailing for 8 years.
2020 began with me and my crew Onni Kuisma (from Finland) training almost every weekend on the Nacra 15, preparing for upcoming events in the spring and summer. With the CISA Clinic and Mid Winters West Championship scheduled for Long Beach, Adam Corpuz-Lahne trailered our boats down to ABYC, so we could practice and acclimate with the conditions.

As COVID arose, the events we were training for were canceled, and our boats were brought back to Richmond. Having no events scheduled for the near future, Onni and I decided to keep training and use the time we were given to focus on specific skills and techniques. We continued this until early summer when I received the news that Onni was moving back to Finland. We wrapped up our final weeks together, enjoying sailing in the summer breeze and our time out on the water.

After Onni’s departure, I decided to crew on an i420 and was given the opportunity to train in Southern California for two months. The program encompassed daily strength training, lessons on weather, sail making, fiberglass repair, and charting. As expected, summer conditions allowed for light wind practice, learning patience, and the importance of paying attention to details. Breeze training was in Long Beach, and while there, I was given the opportunity to skipper a Nacra17 with Anna Weis for a practice race against the other 17s. It was an amazing experience to sail with her and get a glance into Riley and Anna’s training leading up to the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo. I concluded the summer with great memories, and I acquired new skills as I returned home for the school year.

I continued to sail i420s in the fall and sail my Nacra 15 as opportunities allowed, and it was great to get back in the boat after some time being away. As COVID continued to cause widespread cancellation of sailing events throughout the world, I am focusing on regattas scheduled for the spring. Our goal is to qualify for i420 World Championship in San Remo, Italy, being held in July 2021.

Despite the craziness of this past year, I have been able to use the absence of competition to grow and take time to develop as a young athlete and learn many new things about the sport I love. Upon reflection, I am incredibly grateful for my coaches and the lessons they have taught me. I always enjoy being out on the water and am excited to continue to learn and hopefully compete in the coming months.

18 year old Charlotte Versavel, from Palo Alto, Calif., is a senior at Palo Alto High. She’s been sailing 8 years.
At the beginning of the year, Jack Sutter and I planned to compete in the US Youth Worlds Qualifiers, the first of which was early April in Long Beach. We were also hoping to get more experience sailing internationally: spending summer 2020 traveling and competing in Europe in the lead up to the 2020 Youth Worlds, which were to be held in December 2020 in Brazil.

When coronavirus put the world on hold, I wanted to use the extra time and flexibility of online school to sail more while Jack’s motivation to train was reduced as we saw our summer events being canceled. It was frustrating for both of us and one relief was the practices in the Nacra 15 that Adam Corpuz-Lahne organized and coached. Adam let me sit on the coach boat (with my buff covering my face) and sometimes switched me in with the other Nacra teams. The practices were experimental and exciting, resulting in some promising light wind speed techniques and as well as heavy wind confidence.

I was itching to get back to sailing, so after trying out a friend’s Waszp, I convinced my mom to invest in an early Christmas-and-Birthday present. My hope was that a single-handed boat would let me sail as often as I wanted and would help me make the transition with Jack into the foiling Nacra 17.

I spent the rest of the summer in a variety of new hobbies. I became a certified US Sailing Level 1 Instructor and hiked a bunch in Tahoe (summiting Round Top, Dick’s Peak, and Mt. Tallac). When my Waszp arrived in the late days of summer, I spent a couple days in the backyard, splicing, and figuring out how the systems worked. My maiden voyage was out of Saint Francis, alongside Luke Froeb and Declan Donovan, and coached by Adam.

When school started again, in a revised online format, I put my head down and started applying to colleges. This gave me less time for sailing, but Jack and I got a couple of days on the water in organized N15 practices (out of Richmond Yacht Club) coached by Adam. On weekends that Jack wasn’t available to sail, I started training (out of Richmond YC) in the Waszp with Molly Carapiet who got her Waszp at around the same time, and Helena Scutt, who does loops around us in her Moth. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to sail with two women who are kind, knowledgeable sailors, and humble even with their success and accomplishments.

Due to the busy-ness of our schedules, and differences in our goals, Jack and I decided to stop sailing together in late 2020. While I still have a year left in the Youth Sailing Circuit, I’ve been enjoying the challenge of learning a new boat (the Waszp), and feel much safer (less likely to get or spread the virus) in a singlehanded boat where I don’t need to travel to find people to sail against. While I didn’t consider myself someone who would thrive in solo sailing, fixing my own problems and being self-sufficient has given me confidence and contributed to mental growth.

I finished submitting college applications just a couple of days ago and will have more time to get on the water in the spring. I’m hoping for flat water and consistent wind that will let me foil as often as possible. Once I get more comfortable in the Waszp, I’ll try rally the other Bay Area boats to put together some local events, but for now, I have lots to learn.

After a whirlwind 2020, I don’t want to make any assumptions for what sailing will look like this summer, but I’ll find a way to get on the water and enjoy myself, before I head off to college where I plan to sail and compete!

Main image – Cali Salinas & Ben Rosenberg Nacra 15 training.

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Michelle SladeYouth Sailors Capitalize On A Challenging Year While Preparing For Better Sailing Days Ahead
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Daniela Moroz: Winging into 2021

Catching up with Daniela Moroz, 4-time Kitefoil World Champion (2016-2019) and 2-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year (2016/2019), is always fun. She has a contagious smile, loves to laugh, is always relaxed (who wouldn’t be in her shoes!) and is more often than not enjoying life on the cutting edge.

I caught up with her in Los Barriles, a notable boardsailing venue along the eastern tip of Baja California, where we met at a new café in town. She ordered a chai latte and avocado toast…without tomato. “I heard the avocado toast here is really good, so I have to try it,” she enthused in her natural bubbly style.

Her latest passion is wing sailing, which for someone who initially thought it was dumb, this 19-year old has quickly changed her tune. She’s loving it.

When did you get into winging?
Back home last June at Sherman Island. I’m going to be honest. When I first saw a wing last year here in Los Barriles, I thought it looked really dumb.

Johnny (Heineken) and Sinbad (Cynthia Brown) were doing it as well as a few others but with the big boards; it just did not look appealing at all to me. My dad and a bunch of guys from Sherman started winging back in April-May, and by the time I came home from school at the beginning of June, they were all winging. They all said, “You’ve got to try it, it’s so fun!”

Sure enough, I had a blast at Sherman trying it. I switched to a much smaller board which made it a lot more fun for me. The big boards are bulky, especially coming from kite foiling where the gear is so minimal. So, after being super anti-winging for the longest time, here I am now really stoked on winging – I didn’t even bring kite gear down to Los Barriles with me!

What’s winging like, is it comparable to kiting?
I think it is probably the most accessible water sport to get into, even easier than surfing. It seems so much safer than kiting because you have less stuff going on; it’s simple. I think it’s more similar to windsurfing but nicer in that you don’t have a boom which gives you more freedom, and you can still foil which makes it more efficient. It’s a perfect gateway to everything else – you could start winging and go into kiting from there, or if you’re coming from windsurfing and you want to wing, it’s super easy.

What about the foil aspect if you are new to these sports?
I think in a perfect world, you learn to foil behind a power boat, like wakeboarding style, because that’s usually a calm environment with few variables, but if you’re coming from windsurfing and you understand how the wing works and how to power the wing, then it’s just a matter of figuring out how the foil feels.

What inspired the downwinder to La Ribera?
It was a really big wind day and I really wanted to do a downwinder while I was here as that’s the best way to wing, especially here in the swell; it’s soooo nice. I did a bunch in Hood River last summer – about 12 nautical miles. I would take my phone with me and share my location with friends so that they knew exactly where I was.

For La Ribera, I organized with friends to take dry stuff down with them to La Ribera as they were going there to wave kite anyway, and then I shared my location with them, and they did the same with me. I winged down – it was about 15 miles and my entire session was about 90 minutes but just to get down there was a little less than an hour.

Can you surf on a wing?
Yes, you totally can – just let go of the wing and go down the wave which I’m super comfortable with because I started surf foiling this fall. Ride the swell down and just let go of the wing – I hold the end handle on the leading edge of the wing when I’m doing this.

What’s new with your kite training?
I was in Florida from November 20 to December 20 which was super fun. I didn’t kite that much as it wasn’t my focus for the trip, though I did coach some girls for US Sailing’s Olympic Development Program (ODP) which was fun getting them on foil kites and comfortable foiling.

The main purpose was because I’d never been to Miami and the US Sailing Center. I didn’t grow up sailing and didn’t go through the normal sailing pathway so I wanted to see how things were run, how the different teams are campaigning, and learn from that. I really wanted to meet people and talk to them about their campaign experience, see how the different teams are training, what’s working, what isn’t, and absorb as much as I could.

You did some boat sailing in Florida?
It was such a blast. I knew I wanted to hop in a couple of different boats while I was there, follow the teams around and learn from them. That worked really well. I spent 3-4 days with Riley (Gibbs) and Anna (Weis), and their coach Sally (Barkow). I sailed on their Nacra 17 for a couple of days and really liked it; it’s something different.

Do your kite skills transfer to sailing boats?
Not really, though it’s easy to hop onto a boat, especially if it’s a 2-person boat as you then have someone telling you what to do. It worked out great that it happened to be Riley, who is a really good kiter, because he could compare everything to kiting.

I was mostly crewing so my main job was trimming the mainsheet and in the end it’s the same idea – sheet in to get more power and sheet out when you need to de-power. It was just a matter of figuring out the timing of all of that. I had to really anticipate whereas with kiting everything is immediate – as soon as you sheet in you feel it right away.

In the Nacra I had to be 5 steps ahead and be prepared for a puff that is way off in the distance, so you had to already be sheeting in to be in the right position to take advantage of it. With kiting you are still anticipating that kind of stuff but it’s more immediate. That was all really interesting.

I also went out with Dane (Wilson) and all the 49er boys one day – I actually REALLY like the 49er. The trimming was more precise and I felt like it needed more attention than the Nacra – I really liked that aspect of it.

Do you ever see yourself racing boats?
I could never see myself sailing a boat because there’s so much rigging and you go so slow, you put so much effort into going so slow compared to kiting, and it’s so expensive. But after sailing the 49er, I thought the FX could be quite fun…I did hop in the FX one day with Erika (Reineke) and Lucy (Wilmot) which was really fun.

Kiteboarding will make its Olympic debut in Paris 2024 with hydrofoil boards. Formula Kite will be the official kiteboarding class with a mixed format that includes men and women. Have you got a partner to race with in 2024?
I think in the US right now we have a huge opportunity to medal with kiting. There are a bunch of guys that are definitely going for it but it’s not like boat racing – we don’t know yet what the details will be but the kiters will campaign individually and the best guy and the best girl at the end of the qualification period will be selected.

What happens next?
I will probably officially launch my 2024 campaign in June. Between now and then, I will be setting up the stuff that I need to go “live” with my campaign (big smile) – not just on the training side but also on the logistical campaigning side of things.

I’m supposed to go back to Florida at the end of January to train and do the Clearwater OCR at the beginning of February and after that, if I feel like I want to continue kite training, I will likely return to Baja to do some training and then do the Kite Pro Tour. Then there is a mixed relay kiting event back to back with the Princess Sofia Regatta 2021 in Palma in May. After that I don’t know as the IKA (International Kiteboarding Association) calendar still hasn’t been confirmed.

Do you have a coach?
Not right now but I’m probably going to start working with one this year – I have been talking to a few different people including Torvar Mirsky, the 2017 World Match Racing Champion. He lives in Palma which is why I would like to get there, perhaps do a training regatta first and if that partnership works then we could do the Europeans and Worlds together.

He does quite a bit of kiting and I think he would be really good with tactics and strategy which I think is my biggest area for improvement. ODP will be providing some coaching and support for some training camps and they’re hiring Gebi (Michael Gebhardt) and Charlie McKee to coach us in Florida at the end of the month which I think will be super interesting. There’ll be about 10 of us – some of these kids have their eye on 2024, some of the younger ones won’t be ready for 2024 but lining up for 2028.

How does school (University of Hawaii) fit into all of this?
I did the fall 2020 semester and will be doing the spring 2021 semester online. The fall was really fun – I was living my best surf bum life and surfing every day in Los Angeles living in my van. It was super awesome and I got arguably some of my best grades this past semester.

For this upcoming semester I have two Zoom classes about three hours twice a week which will definitely be a little more tricky but I’ll figure it out. Spring semester starts on January 11th and if at the end of February I find I need a break from kiting after the training block in late January, I may go back to Hawaii and live with my friends and do college.

I definitely miss that social aspect of college and all my friends I met there the first year. Right now I’m pretty keen to keep training, come back to Baja with my race gear and train here. I know a couple of the Europeans want to come to Baja so I’d have some really good people to train with.

How do you finance all of this?
That’s the question, isn’t it! (laughs). I get that in the US as we have to do all the fundraising ourselves. I am fortunate in that I am relatively well-known and have very good connections at the St Francis Yacht Club and St. Francis Sailing Foundation which I am really grateful for. I feel like I have a really good community supporting and backing me there. As I put together my Olympic campaign, figuring out fundraising will be a big part of that…

Sidenote: Our conversation turns to discussion about breakfast which has just been delivered to the table. “Hmm, this is definitely better avocado toast than the other coffee shop!” Daniela concludes.

Credit: Dane Wilson

Michelle SladeDaniela Moroz: Winging into 2021
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Holiday Greetings to our Foundation Community

Greetings to our St. Francis Sailing Foundation friends and supporters. I hope this letter finds
you and your loved ones well during these trying times. We have all been affected in a variety of
ways, some of us harder than others. I know that when things return to normal, I will never again
take for granted my love of being on the water with family and friends.

At this stage in my life I enjoy sharing the gift of sailing: teaching others how to sail, mentoring
our top athletes and helping them to maintain a work/life balance. I am proud of what the
Foundation does to boldly give back: the athletes and programs it supports impact our sport in a
variety of ways, creating role models and future leaders who enhance our sailing community.

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, in 2020 our Olympic sailors have continued to train, and the
community programs we support including the Alameda Community Sailing Center, Blue Water
Foundation, BAADS and Call of the Sea, have continued to run safe sailing programs for youth
and under-served communities. Our StFYC junior sailors are engaged, connected to the
community, sailing single handed boats and improving their skills. The Foundation’s
sponsorship of the Set Sail Learn program at the Treasure Island Sailing Center adapted and
created an online field trip experience for San Francisco public school kids to stay engaged until
they can safely get back out on the water.

For as long as there is wind, water and sailboats to race, our sport will continue to need the
Foundation. Each year we are committed to granting our total donations received to our athletes
and programming in addition to earnings received from our investment income.

With the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games our athletes are relying on us more than
ever. We are thrilled that some of our US Olympic Sailing Team athletes, also being StFYC
members, received a generous donation from Foundation advisor Beth DeAtley. These sailors
will compete in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics as part of Team DeAtley. With much gratitude we also
acknowledge Duane and Darlene Hines for their impactful generosity this past year and to those
families who remember the Foundation in their estate planning.

Due to the pandemic, we will not be gathering in March 2021 for our annual auction and
celebration. In place of it, we plan to host a celebration send-off for our Olympic athletes in
summer 2021, with more details to follow later. Rest assured that the Foundation auction will
return in 2022!

We all have charities that we think of at the end of the year, and for me, that hasn’t changed
during the pandemic. I am committed to continue to give back to the sport that I love. Like many
of you, the sport of sailing has formed me into a competitor and made me a part of a community
that I cannot imagine being away from. At the Foundation, we want others to have this common
connection to sailing, where one is always challenged to grow their skills and talents, with the
bonus of lifelong friendships spanning generations. We hope you will consider giving to the
Foundation this year so we can continue to build upon our work – please feel free to contact me
if you have any questions regarding the Foundation or giving opportunities.

Wishing you fair winds, and happy holidays with those you love.

Warmly,
Pamela Healy
President, St. Francis Sailing Foundation

Michelle SladeHoliday Greetings to our Foundation Community
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Making the Most of a Pandemic – Junior Sailors Switch Gears – and Boats

With so few opportunities for Nacra 15 racing this past season, StFYC junior sailor Hoel Menard looked for other racing opportunities and with events taking place in the 29er, he turned to working on his skills in that class. Just recently, he and skipper Kelly Holthus flew to Florida to compete in their first regatta of 2020, the 29er Skiff Generation Grand Prix, Event #2, which was held in Miami at the US Sailing Center.

Menard, 16, has been sailing since he was a young kid and since 2015, he’s been a regular on the the Nacra 15 racing scene. Like Holthus, Menard is fairly new to the 29er – the pair met last summer at a CISA clinic and following the clinic they teamed up in the Nacra 15 and 29er. In Miami, Holthus and Menard finished with outstanding results given their relative experience in the 29er.

“We were excited to sail against the East Coast teams and see what we needed to work on in preparation for the Orange Bowl and for the 2021 Youth World qualifiers,” Menard said. “Our first day of racing was not what we imagined, we raced three good races but a little too much excitement in the last race caused us to be over early and receive an OCS.”

Going into day two of the regatta, the pair stood in 8th overall with a 20-point gap to first place. They had to race a perfect second day in order to even think about winning the regatta.

“Kelly and I were determined to do as best as we could,” Menard said. “Focusing on every race instead of the overall result was key.”

After having an ideal second day scoring a 2-1-1-1, Menard and Holthus won the regatta.

“We were beyond happy with our result,” Menard, a student at the Lycee Francais de San Francisco. “I would like to thank the St. Francis Yacht Club Sailing Foundation because without its continuous support from the very start I would not be able to race at this level and become one step closer to my goal.”

Next up, Menard and Holthus will compete at the Skiff Generation Grand Prix, Event #3 in mid-December, followed by the Open Orange Bowl at the end of December.

Michelle SladeMaking the Most of a Pandemic – Junior Sailors Switch Gears – and Boats
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Productive European Tour For Laser Sailor Charlie Buckingham

Just back from a productive and successful Europe tour, US Sailing Team Athlete Charlie Buckingham is cautiously excited about his training progress and next steps as he counts down to the Olympics next summer.

With the postponement of the 2020 Games and all things going on related to the pandemic, Buckingham was thrilled to be able to spend almost three months in Europe this summer thanks to a travel exemption facilitated by the Italian sailing team. He accomplished a ton of training and competed in three events, finishing fourth at the 2020 Kiel Week Regatta, winning the 2020 Italian Championships at Follonica on the Italian Tuscany Adriatic Sea Coast, and finishing sixth overall at the 2020 Laser Senior European Championships in Gdansk, Poland where 120 sailors competed in the Men’s Laser Standard fleet.

“I felt I had to strike on the opportunity and am really pleased with how the trip went,” Buckingham commented. “I was pretty much able to meet every goal that I set and get some good results.”

With the pandemic offering limited possibilities this year to compete at all, it was a huge opportunity for Buckingham to be able to start with all of the medal contenders he will be up against next year with the exception of the Aussies and Kiwis, and to perform well against them was really encouraging.

“I think it’s a good indicator for next year,” the 31-year old from Newport Beach, Calif., noted. “Each of the three events helped me in my preparation for Japan.”

The three venues offered quite different conditions which also consolidated skill building and training.

“Kiel was mostly offshore wind which was quite like Japan in the offshore wind that they have there, Italy was mostly strong sea breezes which we may also have during the Olympics. Poland was quite different to those we will typically see in Japan but it’s always good to get competitive repetitions under your belt.”

Buckingham is presently winding down his training regimen and enjoying a short break at home in Costa Mesa, Calif. He expects soon that he and coach Diego Romero with whom he’s been training for two years, will finalize a plan for the build up to next year but for now he’s focusing on fitness at home and staying sharp on the boat.

“I have no major travel or competition coming up – just keeping it simple at home through the end of the year and travel will start again in the new year,” he said.

Buckingham’s daily work-out routine usually depends on the phase of the season. It typically includes an aerobic session and a strength session each day if he’s training at home, and if he’s sailing, he might replace one of these sessions with the sailing workout. He’s been fortunate to have had Paul Didham, a young student from the University of Long Beach, to sail with these past months.

“I always practice in Long Beach so if Paul was available it was really helpful for me to have another boat to practice with during quarantine,” Buckingham noted.

His regular sparring partner is Juan Maegli, an Olympic sailor from Guatemala.

“Juan’s got a ton of experience and he’s a really good sailor,” Buckingham enthused. “We share a coach and when we’re traveling and training, I’m always training with him.”

Sports psychology coaching plays a big part in Buckingham’s training – being mentally prepared is an important part of his groundwork so that he can be in an optimal mindset when training and competing.

“I think the part of my mental game that’s brought me most success recently is realizing that every day is an opportunity to get better on the water and to make the most of each opportunity,” Buckingham commented. “If you make the most of each day in training then you are more prepared for the big moments when they come in competition.”

While conditions in Japan can be anything, Buckingham noted that the bodies of water he’ll be training on leading up to the Olympics will be mostly open water venues with waves, citing that its probable that the highest percentage of condition sailors will see in Japan next summer will be some sort of onshore condition with waves and swell.

“We’ll probably tailor our training to venues like that,” Buckingham commented, “but practice is equally as important as specific conditions practice. For the first half of the year my training will mainly be a purely competitive focus to really practice finishing at the top of events and hopefully closing out on the top of the podium.”

Finally, Buckingham’s pandemic silver lining?

“It’s made me realize that things can be taken from you instantly and it’s forced me to re-evaluate and understand that I am really fortunate to be able to do what I do,” he said. “When faced with the prospect of the Olympics being canceled I was thinking what a shame it would be to have that happen and not be able to be proud of the effort that you put in. It re-focused me to be grateful that every day that I live my dream is a gift and that I need to make the most of it while I can. With that gratitude I really made the most of the trip to Europe and the outcome was a really good result.”

 

Michelle SladeProductive European Tour For Laser Sailor Charlie Buckingham
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Informal racing a welcome break during pandemic

Photo: Murano crew L to R: Greg Sieck, Bill Kreysler, Doug Smith

People buy boats all the time and ultimately, many owners leave them sitting in a slip in some marina somewhere dreaming of the day when they will find the time to go sailing. Bill Kreysler, by his own admission, is no exception. Finding time to sail a boat he bought 25 years ago has been an enigma to him for years. But these past few months he’s finally gotten his beautifully restored Knarr – Murano – out on the Bay thanks to a group of Knarr enthusiasts who have been meeting on the water to sail their boats under Covid-safe conditions.

Kreysler’s boat was formerly owned by an acquaintance who was ready to get rid of her. She was in pretty bad shape, leaking with a couple of holes in the deck. Kreysler suspects she had even sunk a couple of times at the dock. Nonetheless, his interest was piqued as he’d always been fond of the classic Knarr, a 30’ Bermuda-rigged, long-keeled sailboat designed in 1943 and traditionally built in wood.

“I would often sail out of San Francisco Yacht Club for Star regattas and there were always Knarrs out sailing,” Kreysler, a Terra Linda resident, recalled. “I would think, “that’s about the prettiest little sloop I’ve seen!”. There is something about the lines which are just the right proportion.”

Years went by and Kreysler had only ever sailed one a couple of times before he offered to buy the leaky old Knarr from his buddy.

“We made a deal that if he could get it up the Petaluma River to my workshop, I would give him $500 for it,” Kreysler laughed. “He got a friend to tow him up the river and I think if my shop had been another 100 yards upriver, the boat wouldn’t have made it.”

Kreysler pulled the boat up alongside the wharf at his shop where he had a small crane to lift her out of the river, but she was completely water-logged. The process took about a week to get the boat up onto a cradle where she then literally fell apart.

“My dream of, at the most, nailing some plywood on the holes on the deck, getting a coat of bottom paint on her and going out racing kind of disappeared and it was the beginning of a three-year complete total restoration project,” Kreysler smiled. “I think I could have built a new boat for less money and time, but it became kind of a labor of love.”

The result was essentially a new wooden Knarr, and for the first year or so, Kreysler raced the heck out of it. A Star Class world champion in 1966 alongside sailing partner Don Trask, Kreysler had grown up in San Diego sailing Sabots, the Finn and Lightnings in addition to the Star which he also campaigned with Trask for the 1968 Olympics. He’s a guy who lives and breathes the world of sailing, he’s active in the St Francis Yacht Club and an avid support of youth sailing but after that first year of racing his beloved Knarr, he simply couldn’t find the time to get on the water.

“For whatever reason I didn’t sail her the second year, that year went into third year and every year since, the boat has sat in the marina unused,” he said. “And, every year I take her to KKMI ((the Keefe Kaplan Maritime, Inc. boatyard), haul out, do the bottom – that’s been her big annual cruise!”

Recently, sailing friends convinced Kreysler that it was time to fire Murano up again and join other Knarr enthusiasts who have been enjoying short-handed, informal, non-club-organized racing.

“It’s just a bunch of avid Knarr sailors going out for a sail and somebody on the beach with a gun to start us,” Kreysler commented. “It’s been an absolute blast.”

The Knarr fleet is known for its capacity to draw elite sailors, so how does it work racing casually yet with a bunch of highly competitive sailors in a loosely organized, non-officiated manner?

“It’s amazingly low key – it’s like sailing was when all of us learned to love it, just plain fun,” Kreysler stated. “In fact, it’s so low key that there’s nothing left to do but have fun. Sure, there are some serious guys and Olympic medalists who race these boats, yet I would bet that they would say the same thing. It’s like going back to the 60s when somebody stood on the yacht club deck with a whistle and held up a blue flag.”

With the Bay sailing season winding down, last weekend the Knarrs sailed the last of its informal summer series. Don Jesberg, a Mill Valley resident, and his crew have been leading the fleet on Viva, a Knarr he bought last fall, and like Kreysler, needed to restore the boat for race-readiness.

“We spent from last November to July re-building Viva,” Jesberg said. “It cost an arm and a leg then another arm, but we’ve been sailing the boat for the past two months and it’s just been fun. It’s truly casual, a guy on the beach with a count-down, then we sail out to the mark and back”.

Jesberg, who has owned and successfully raced all nature of boats, `thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to be on the water during this unusual sailing season and his intro to the Knarr fleet. Moreover, Viva took first overall in the Informal Cup Regatta, the result of the last three race days of the series.

“The fleet is about the people, they know how to sail, how to share and how to have fun – whoever shows up, shows up, it’s completely un-organized” he commented. “We’re all racing the same kind of boat – it’s all strict one-design. They boats are simple which is also handy and there’s no complicated formula to make it better, you don’t have to worry about an arms race. It’s a breath of fresh air.”

Murano – the classic beauty owned by Bill Kreysler

* As published 10-14-20 https://www.marinij.com/2020/10/14/sailing-in-marin-informal-racing-a-welcome-break-during-pandemic/

Michelle SladeInformal racing a welcome break during pandemic
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Team Perfect Vision Sailing Uses Pandemic Time To Hone 470 Skills

Just 2-1/2 years ago, Nikki Barnes and Laura Dallman-Weiss formed their team Perfect Vision Sailing to campaign the 470 in the 2020 Olympics. They started in the reverse of most sailing campaigns, racing right away and never finding the time to solidify basic foundational skills. When the 2020 Olympics were rescheduled to 2021, the global pandemic offered up a silver lining for the pair.

Here, Lara provides an update on how she and Nikki have been using their pandemic time. They have been in Miami sailing since May and while initially their concerns were around what it would be like to train completely alone, those thoughts quickly diminished when they realized just how lucky they were to have so much alone time to simply focus.

“I haven’t since thought about training alone – these past months have been amazing,” Lara said. “We were missing a lot of the foundation in our team, we needed to focus on boat handling and the very basics of the 470 because it’s so complex,” Lara said. “We needed more time.”

The first hurdle was ensuring that Nikki would be able to take the extra year from her job with the Coastguard to train. While in lock-down and unable to sail right after the pandemic hit, Nikki worked as much as she could and was ultimately granted the extra year off from the Coastguard.

Robby Bisi, their coach, has been with them throughout this time as also he lives in Miami. From the get-go he prescribed time on the water for the rest of the year.

“We spend a lot of time on the water – we do a training box in 24-day periods where we do five days on, two days off,” Lara explained.

Robby has been mixing up the on-water training, recently putting together a six-day practice, obviously without other boats but it played out beautifully in giving the pair an opportunity to practice pre-race routine and work on the endurance of sailing for six days in a row, managing emotions and energy levels.

“One of the biggest things for us has been nailing down exactly what we do before we race,” Lara said. “We got that routine to within an hour timeline with what we wanted and needed to do.”

Self-motivation is naturally an important trait for an Olympic hopeful but normally sailors are in contact with other teams, whether it be regattas or clinics, which helps feed motivation. For Lara and Nikki, the lack of contact with other teams was initially the biggest battle to overcome when the pandemic hit.

“We’d come home and our whole world would be on social media,” Lara said. “We’d find ourselves scrolling through to see what our competitors were doing which in turn made me ask the question of myself, “Am I doing enough?” When we finally met as a team and focused on our personal goals, disregarding what everyone else was doing, we could focus on meeting our goals. With no other boats to go up against, we are trying to do our personal best which is our goal, and to really learn the little nuances of the 470 so that we don’t need other boats to sail against, we’re just sailing our best.”

A big part is fitness and dealing with the heat that they experienced training in Japan last year. Fortunately, Miami has similar conditions to those Nikki and Lara experienced in Japan so they have been able to focus on recovery and nutrition, how they can feel their best and not get heat stroke which has been another blessing. As crew, Lara’s job is very physical, so she has been concentrating on her fitness and focusing on heartrate zones and fitness goals like muscle building.

“These have been good goals for me,” Lara reported. “Robby set up a bunch of short races for us and some of them I could pump the whole time so that the kinetics flag was up and he’d be watching my heartrate to see how long I could do things for.”

She and Nikki both work with nutritionists and being able to be home with limited distractions, the pair have made big developments into nutritional planning.

“We’re both at about the right weight so that means when we are training really hard, we have to work just as hard to keep it on,” Lara explained. “Because we train so much, we end up consuming a lot of gels, goos, powders, and stuff, so on “off” days I like to eat super basic like whole foods – real food!”

They’ve both created documents with different meal plans and have become specific with what they may consume on the morning prior to a race, when and how to hydrate, and eating more carbs before getting on the water.

From an emotional perspective, Lara reports that she and Nikki are coping well. They each work with a psychologist and have a team psychologist who works closely with Robby.

“I speak with my sports psychologist every Sunday and we talk for about an hour about what happened during the week,” Lara said. “A lot of it is the stories we tell ourselves so if I change that to what I want, it just makes things very positive. Robby, Nikki, and I are all in this together but we’re crying at different times and are very different people. This work helps us to be compassionate of, and understand, each other. It makes our practices highly effective and unemotional.”

And of course, keeping an eye firmly fixed on the finish line is ultimately the goal.

“It really helps having goals and I feel awful for people right now who don’t have a long-term goal,” Lara commented. “I think that’s something that’s driving us every day.”

This past month the pair have been training in Santander, Spain with a group of 10-12 470s. They’re feeling extremely fortunate to have been invited to this camp, as Lara noted, “We’re loving the big wave conditions, the venue is one of the best we have been to yet!”

Lara Dallman-Weiss focuses on her training game during pandemic

 

* The final qualification opportunity for the Women’s 470 class is the 2021 World Championship, scheduled for March 5-13, 2021 in Vilamoura, Portugal.

 

 

Michelle SladeTeam Perfect Vision Sailing Uses Pandemic Time To Hone 470 Skills
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Call of the Sea Summer Camps Under Way; Educational Tall Ship Matthew Turner Sets Sail

When it became clear that Call of the Sea’s K through 12 youth education tours, which were booked solid for the spring, had to cancel due to Covid, the organization quickly figured out substitute programming. They added in three three-week summer camps scheduled to run June – August. While a Covid situation in late July required a temporary hold on activities, the final camp gets underway operating out of Call of the Sea’s Sausalito facility.

10-12 local kids per three-week session have been fortunate enough to expand their horizons with fun educational activities both on and off the water, according to Brenda Cook, Director of Advancement for Call of the Sea. While at camp, kids are required to take all the necessary Covid health and safety precautions and are carefully supervised for social distancing.

“It’s really been a boon to be able to run these camps because so many kids and their parents have been climbing the walls because of the isolation and needing to be inside all the time during shelter in place,” Cook explained. “It’s been great to be able to do what we are really all about – experiential, environmental education for Bay Area youth.”

At camp, kids ages 8-14 are out on the water for part of the day including trips on the 82’ schooner Seaward where they get to experience the thrill of observing of marine life firsthand, interaction with the Bay and local marine destinations such as Angel Island and of course, the pure pleasure of sailing. Off the water, campers learn to work as a team with their shipmates, nautical logbook and journaling skills, and engage in art projects like building models of the Seaward. As reported by parents of kids who participated in this season’s Young Salts Summer Camp, the sessions have been well received.

Bianca Galladora (son Arlo): Arlo LOVED his first day. I think combined with the fact that the camp is very fun/interesting/cool with the fact that we’ve been in our house for three months has made Summer camp extra exciting this year. He says it’s the best camp he’s ever been to!  He told me his favorite activities were swimming at Angel Island and just being on the sailboat sailing around. He also says the food is really good! 

Colene Turner (son Sylvian): Sylvian says his first favorite activity is sailing, his second favorite “activity” is the rocking of the sailboat, and his third favorite “activity” is tacking! So I guess he likes the sailing part best! 

Michael Mason (daughter Sophie): The Call of the Sea Summer Camp has been not only the highlight of Sophie’s summer, this has been the bright spot of her transition of relocating to San Francisco and the Bay Area. Sophie comes home every day full of stories about her kayaking, boat making and Angel Island experiences and is a much happier child since she’s been at camp and around her new friends and camp instructors.”

Call of the Sea recently received its Certificate of Inspection from the US Coast Guard for the brigantine Matthew Turner, the organization’s newly constructed 132’ wooden tall ship and the latest addition to its fleet. The ship embarked on its first community sails over the weekend of July 24- 26, 2020, with trips sold out within hours. These sailing trips will be repeated each Friday night and weekends for the remainder of summer 2020 offering a rare opportunity to sail on what is fast becoming an iconic vessel on the Bay as well as a ship on which future generations will learn about the Bay’s natural environment and maritime heritage.

At its Sausalito base, now that construction of the Matthew Turner is complete, volunteers are still kept busy with on the ongoing maintenance of both sailing ships – from sanding, varnishing and painting to changing oil and taking care of the mechanics of onboard systems. Heading into fall, Call of the Sea hopes that the Matthew Turner will venture to different ports around the Bay Area so that more local youth can benefit from sailing on the tall ship while engaging in the related experiential science learning programming.

Summer Camp Fun – Building Models of Seaward Credit: Photos courtesy Call of the Sea

* Call of the Sea is a St Francis Sailing Foundation Grantee

Michelle SladeCall of the Sea Summer Camps Under Way; Educational Tall Ship Matthew Turner Sets Sail
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What’s the deal with kiteboarding in the Olympics?

Kitesurfer Daniela Moroz has the distinction of holding four Hydrofoil Kiteboarding World Championship titles and has twice been honored as US Sailing Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year. She’ll be a sophomore this fall at the University of Hawaii, working on a double major in International Business and Marketing, but since all her classes are online and all fall sports at school are canceled, she’ll stay with her family in the Bay Area and work remotely from home. She’s enjoyed being home this summer and has used Covid as an opportunity to take a break from kiting and focus on other things.

“I was feeling really burnt out from racing so it’s been nice to have the time off,” she said, adding, “It will be nice to have the time at home this fall!”

With an eye to the 2024 Olympics, (although 2024 events have not been confirmed, the IOC is supposed to do so by December), Daniela’s posted a video talking about the new Olympic sailing class: kitefoiling, which will make a first appearance at the 2024 Games. She answers many popular questions about the development of the sport, the Olympic format, equipment, and fleet growth.

“I think the most exciting thing in kiting right now is just thinking about how the next four years will be leading up to the Olympics. There will be a lot of changes that will happen with regards to professionalism and competitiveness and I’m sure there will be more that we don’t see coming! It’s a really exciting time for the sport as a whole and I’m really grateful to be a part of that.”

Credit: Alex Schwarz

Michelle SladeWhat’s the deal with kiteboarding in the Olympics?
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Olympic Sailors Counting Down To Tokyo 2020

With one year out from Tokyo 2020, US Sailing and members of the US Sailing Team gathered recently to chat about their Olympic experiences – past, present and future. Briana Provancha, Olympian and current US Sailing Board member, moderated the session. Foundation grantees Stephanie Roble/Maggie Shea (49er FX), Paige Railey (Laser Radial), Luke Muller (Finn), Anna Weis/Riley Gibbs (Nacra 17), and Charlie Buckingham (Laser), talked about their Olympic journey. Following are excerpts from the discussion (part 2):

What is your pre-Olympic meal going to be?
Maggie & Steph
– French toast and strawberries, carbohydrates, it’s a winning meal!
Charlie: I like to have a big hearty breakfast so for me its bacon, eggs, toast, and avocado.
Anna/Riley: Breakfast we’ll do whatever but we’re planning on having a late afternoon start so it’ll have to be sushi for both of us – or a rice bowl.
Luke: I pretty much eat the same thing before sailing – a cup of oatmeal, six eggs and a smoothie and I usually take the smoothie to go. Finn sailors tend to eat a lot so I kind of have three meals in one.

Talking about the mental side of sailing, what are your thoughts when you get to the starting line of the most important race of your life?
Paige:
One of the biggest things I think for the new guys is probably more mental than skill. A lot of people get it in their head, “Oh wow, I’ve finally made it to the Olympics, I’ve been working my whole life just to get here”, and they have a lot of pressure and nerves. My biggest recommendation is the amount of time you spend training in the gym and in the boat you should be spending working on the mental game which means going through everything inside of your head. You need to confront your own demons, you need to confront your own fear, you need to put out a realistic goal that you want and go through every single emotion that you feel when you are on the starting line. It’s not just the starting line – imagine you are first in a race and you round the windward mark top 3 – how are you going to feel? How are you going to feel when you look over and there’s a press boat? It’s really important that you ask yourself what your weaknesses are and what you’re going to feel when the pressure is truly on. During this Covid time I have been spending the same time as I have physically training as I have mentally training.

What’s it like right at the start of any big event when you are doing your warm-up – what’s going on in your head?
Steph: Our whole approach is really process-oriented. We use that excitement to feel our focus towards that process. We go out and we have our pre-race check list and if we go through it and have time to burn we find another way to almost keep ourselves entertained until that starting line gun goes off then we have our next process that we focus on. Malcom Page gave us some really nice advice: “The boat, the sails and the equipment and the water and the wind don’t know it’s the Games so it’s just you that knows – you don’t have to go out there and do anything different. Your equipment is there for you to perform, you just have to perform your best and don’t do anything different than you would for any other race.”
Maggie: “We have certainly had important races where we felt anxious and I am sure the Olympics is amplified. We have worked really hard on intentionally focusing on the process instead of letting the clutter distract you. Let your teammate help you out a little bit if you are nervous, focus on perhaps what you need to eat before the race. We focus on the prompting questions to get our minds back on task at hand. I think we’ll keep doing more of the same – focus on process.”

What are your early Olympic memories and how did they impact your desire to be an Olympian?
Maggie:
Watching the divers – I didn’t really know what they were doing or what they were being rated it on but I thought it looked so cool, what they were executing, I had a lot of appreciation and I thought they looked amazing.
Steph: I really enjoyed watching the gymnasts – I had a little gymnast time in my life so I really loved following them – I think there’s so much focus that goes into being a gymnast and I admire that.
Charlie – My whole family is really passionate about the Olympics. I was pretty young but I specifically remember watching the track and field in Atlanta and Michael Johnson with his golden spikes and being super inspired by that when I was younger. In Sydney 2000 I specifically remember watching the final Laser race on the Outdoor Life Network and seeing Robert Scheidt (Brazil). At that time I was just getting into sailing myself and I didn’t make any decisions then but thought it looked really cool – 16 years later I ended up racing against Robert in the Laser.
Paige: The first time I saw the Olympics was in ’96. My family was watching it on the big TV downstairs in the living room. It was the opening ceremony. I said, “This is so boring, I left the room”. I never had dreams of going to the Olympics, I was that person who just fell into it at 16. I learned about the Olympics in Greek mythology. And now I’ve been to three Olympic Games. I’m telling this story because for all of you people who think you are late bloomers – I’ve had 15-16 year olds reach out to me asking if it’s too late to head to the Games, I’m like, “Oh no,  it’s never too late to have dreams of the Games.”
Anna: When Anna Tunnicliffe Tobias spoke at the yacht club where I’m from. I got a picture taken with her and the gold medal – it was so heavy! That was a really cool moment and she’s been one of my biggest inspirations to go to the Olympics.
Riley: Going to Park City (2002) with my grandparents and family. I was also inspired by Molly Carapiet and Molly Vandemoer.
Luke: It’s funny that Farrah mentioned Mike Gebhardt as he was my neighbor growing up – he was always around us growing up, he was like an uncle around me and my younger brothers and older siblings – he sailed against and coached my older brother Phillip who participated in two Olympic trials. I was born and my mother took me to the ’96 Olympics in diapers – I don’t remember it but it’s definitely in my blood. When Mike won a gold medal I thought if it could happen in my back yard with the people I know and seeing that work ethic, I though maybe if worked hard enough I could get there. It’s definitely been a big part of my life.

Strategies for staying upbeat and staying positive during Covid uncertainty?
Paige:
I always tell people that they way that you think is a choice. I can choose to be negative and upset or doubtful about the Olympics but instead I am choosing to try to see the positives during a tough time. Every single day I ask myself what I can do to get one step closer to my goal. I’m taking all this time as an opportunity – to get stronger and to grow which only means I am going to be better prepared for the Olympics. With everything comes a choice and I choose to walk down the positive route.
Riley: I guess as a team we went through phases individually as to who was motivated and who wasn’t motivated but now that we are back together as a physical team we can really work together on our missions. Reuniting has helped motivate us both. Having fun with it will definitely go a long way for us – how are we going to enjoy this and find happiness in this again.
Anna: Especially going into the next year, we didn’t have a lot of time because we just teamed up just a little over a year ago now and so we were expecting to be in the Games now and still pretty inexperienced so now we’re taking every day as an opportunity  – it’s almost like a gift we have been given. It’s finding that healthy balance between life and sailing is going to be super important for us, staying positive and motivated – Riley mentions motivation which I was learning about during quarantine – a better word is discipline as you can’t stay on a trap with motivation because motivation comes and goes. But having that discipline to just get out there everyday is what is really going to matter.

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to a younger sailor?
Luke: If you really want to do this, know that it’s a really long road, it’s really hard, be prepared to work hard, seek out the best training group that you can – I was really lucky to be part of an amazing group of youth sailors in Fort Lauderdale and then afterwards sailing with some of the best people that have sailed the boats I sailed, seek information from every coach you can, be the person who always asks questions and review those notes, always be the hardest worker in the room, be disciplined but take care of yourself. Push until you can’t, take care of yourself a little bit, then push a little more. And really enjoy it. Recognize that you are extremely lucky to be involved in a sport that’s on the water in beautiful places with extremely bright and hardworking individuals. Keep at it, don’t stop.
Paige: My parents were really happy whenever I just finished a race! Have a lot of fun when you are a kid, don’t think Optis are the Olympic Games because you can be a really terrible Opti sailor and not make much of yourself then you can get into a boat in your teen years and make something of yourself. That was my experience. When you join the Olympic path you have to have a lot of fun as well – of course you have your diligence, hard work and training but every single day you have to wake up and ask what’s nice about sailing. I’m 33 now and started when I was 8 – and I’m still enjoying as much as possible.
Steph – Fall in love with the sport and being on the water – that’s a really important part of it, finding the fun and enjoying it every day.
Maggie: The results don’t really matter until they matter. In junior sailing and when you are still learning, they don’t matter. Regattas are important, accomplishments – you can cherish them, be proud of them but don’t put too much pressure on yourself to produce results in junior sailing. Commit yourself to learning how to learn and having a good mindset at a young age will set you up for challenges later in life whether it’s sailing or work.  If you are in last place right now, it’s totally fine, I’ve been there!

Stephanie-Roble_Maggie-Shea_49erFX

Stephanie Roble & Maggie Shea at the 2020 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships in Geelong, Australia. 15th February 2020. Photo: Drew Malcolm Photography.

 

 

Michelle SladeOlympic Sailors Counting Down To Tokyo 2020
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