Michelle Slade

49ers Claim Pizza & Beer Okay!

Ian Barrows and Hans Henken have qualified for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in the 49er after campaigning together for 1300+ days including some 500 training days on the water. For the pair, it’s both exciting and overwhelming, a life-long dream come true while also a reality that in the Olympic Games, the work is never done.

“I don’t think anyone who is about to participate at the Olympics is where they want to be – everyone is still climbing and trying to get better,” Henkens (31) commented. “It’s not enough just to say, “We’re going to the Games and just settle for what we have. It would be easy to do that and it would be the wrong approach. Everyone is trying to get better and better up until the last second.”

2024 Lanzarote 49er and FX Worlds
© Sailing Energy / Lanzarote Sailing Center
06 March, 2024

Securing their place at the 33rd edition of the Olympics with a win at the recent Olympic Trials held in Miami in January,  while that event was their most stressful to date, a do or die proposition, Barrows (29) acknowledged that dealing with that level of pressure was an important lesson.

“I was super excited to win the Trials, it’s been a life-long goal of mine to go to the Olympics,” Barrows said. “It was a little weird to have done something that you were always trying to do for so long, but it was a huge sense of relief to get through it. I was exhausted because it was so long (twenty-one races), but for the most part excited and I am looking forward to continue to improve to put on a good performance in Marseille in August.”

Maintaining that edge and carrying it through to the actual Games is a skill that all Olympic athletes have to develop, as Barrows concurred.

“You either win and move forward, or you don’t and nothing else happens, so learning about coping mechanisms under huge stress and pressure was a good take away. In the Trials we had one stretch with two or three bad races in a row which was concerning – we thought if we didn’t put up a few good results that the others would slip away from us. With so many races so it was easy to think, “there are ten more races,” but you can’t get too ahead of yourself.”

The pair are on a diligent training schedule of three weeks on and a week off. They plan on five blocks of training between now and the Olympics: in April they will race French Olympic Week in Hyeres, in May the 2024 Europeans in La Grande Motte, France. In June and July, they’ll take on three more camps in Marseille leading up to the Games.

“It’s been good to take our recent break to get healthy and fit,” Barrows noted. “Hans is still recovering from some injuries so slowing down and reassessing is important.”

With a view to training, Henken and Barrows are uber focused on improving boat speed.

2024 Lanzarote 49er and FX Worlds
© Sailing Energy / Lanzarote Sailing Center
08 March, 2024

“We’re always trying to get faster, upwind specifically,” Barrows noted. “That is just something you can’t be good enough at, perfecting the technique between the two people, being in sync as much as possible, we’re always working on that. We’re working on our starts, having a higher percentage of good starts, and being able to be in a good enough lane to sail our best VMG.”

Hans added, “We are also focused on building really concrete strategies around tactics on the racecourse, improving our vocabulary and communication, and being more disciplined about our decision-making so that there is less to be thinking about while we are racing. Then we can focus more on technique and making the boat go as fast as possible. Our competitors are incredibly good, and while we’ve had a lot of good podium finishes in the past three years the consistency has not been there – we’re working on building that.”

Barrows and Henken have been sailing together since the summer of 2020 while many of their competitors have been campaigning together for 8-10 years. Nonetheless, they have developed a tight chemistry in that relatively short time.

“Our team chemistry has never been better, we were on cloud 9 from winning the Trials and now that’s worn off a bit we’re back to being super-focused and attending to details to try to improve,” Henkens said. “We’re quite different – I tend to be very calculated and very planned while Ian is very open and easy-going; he is really good at not allowing bad decisions or problems affect him too much so he’s really good at the gray area and indecisiveness that comes with campaigning sometimes – he lets that roll off his back. “I’m the planner and schemer,” Henkens added, laughing.

Paying attention to nutrition and diet, and keeping fit, is tantamount to a top performance, both guys agree.

“I like to play other sports a lot – tennis, squash, basketball and I surf – luckily they all keep you in shape and they are meditative and relaxing,” Barrows smiled, adding, “And every now and again we eat a pizza and have a beer! You don’t want to torture yourself otherwise you’ll be in a negative mental state but you also can’t indulge all  the time.”

As the workhorse on the boat, Henkens especially needs to keep up his cardio fitness so he’s in the gym five to six days a week on a non-sailing week, three days a week when he’s sailing. He does a combination of strength training to maintain a very specific body weight, and he’s catching cardio by road biking, erging and running.

The pair agree that maximizing their potential in the time that they have left to put themselves in podium contention come August is the ultimate goal.

“Specifically, for me, I’ve quit the SailGP work and I’ve made this my entire focus for the next five months,” Henkens said. “Representing the USA at the Olympic Games and try to win a podium for the US has been my childhood dream by far, and my life for the last fifteen years figuring out how to get there. To say that I am going to be an Olympian and participate at the Games is awesome (big smile) and amazing!”

Images: Courtesy Sailing Energy

Michelle Slade49ers Claim Pizza & Beer Okay!
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Erika Reineke: A Well-Balanced Training Plan Includes Time for Ping Pong

Erika Reineke’s successful battle at the recent Olympic Trials for the one spot to represent the US in the ICLA Radial at the Paris Olympics is well documented; for the 30-year-old from Fort Lauderdale,15 years of hard work is now a real thing and Reineke is on top of the job. She shares some of her plans for the next months leading up to the big show.

How are you processing the concept of “Game(s) NOW On”?
It’s a relief now that the Trials are over but there’s definitely more work to be done. We recently put together a really good training plan and I’m pretty confident in the strategy that we have in the lead up to the Games. I’m trying to up my strength and conditioning working toward the 2024 Princesa Sofia Regatta (April 29-May 6, Mallorca, Spain). That event will get me back with the international fleet – it’s been since the Worlds last August since I sailed internationally against the top girls so it will be good to check back in with them. That is the last significant regatta before the Games; we’ll be doing some small coaching regattas in Marseille, and I also lined up some training with Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN, 2020 Olympic gold medalist and current world champion) so we’re going to train together in the lead-up to the Games. I’m excited about this plan because not only do I have a really fast training partner but there’s also going to be room to work on the strength and conditioning side.

How did you manage to schedule Rindom, she must be in huge demand?
I’m never afraid to ask – if there is something I need that will help me, I just ask. We actually did some training together last year and it worked well.

How do you maintain that emotional/mental edge that you needed to get through the Trials through to the Olympics and not let your guard down?
That’s a really good question – I was really put to the test at the Trials. Going into the event I knew it was going to be really challenging and difficult and that points were going to be close. It was going to hard to score points between boats especially with the top girls being at more of an international level. Knowing and accepting that going in, I battled for every point that I could. I took each day at face value; some days were better than others. I just had to keep waiting and waiting and be very patient so that when a moment presented itself to be on the attacking foot, that’s when I had to perform and execute. I know how that feels now.

You just mentioned that the top of the US fleet is now at more of an international level – comment how the women’s ICLA Radial class is developing in the US.
There are a handful of girls who have been competing internationally for a while now, through multiple quads, and they were all present at the Trials. Currently there is also a really strong youth background, girls in college and some in high school still who are building their talent and willingness compete internationally. Even though we only had under thirty boats for the Trials, I would say six or seven are at an international level, girls who are coming up through the rankings. I do believe that the domestic trials have had a lot of value in bringing up the talent and also in making the top girls perform against each other, being able to put points between each other, so it was really challenging.

When will you start being based full-time in Europe leading up the Games?
We’ll make the move over in May. It’s more convenient for flying and eliminates getting sick. The plan is to be based in Barcelona and then fly in and out of Marseille – if there is a really great forecast in Marseille outside of training dates that we already blocked, we’ll fly there to tap into a condition that we want to work on then fly back. I think it’s a best-case scenario.

You’ll be working on the AC Women’s Team at that point, but your heart really must be with your Olympic campaign right now? Can you balance that?
I can and it’s working pretty beautifully right now which I’m really thankful for – being able to be based in Barcelona is great, first of all it’s pretty inexpensive compared to the US right now (laughs). In between training sessions in the Radial in Marseille, the AC base is open for us girls to use the simulator and learn from each other. Both complement each other – in Barcelona I have the option to further my learning in a different boat class in a different environment with great sailors.

How are you managing your diet and hydration?
On the hydration front I’m a really big fan of electrolytes – I always pack electrolyte mixes and specifically the two things that get me through are Liquid I.V. packs and Gatorade Zero (laughs), I love Gatorade! Those are huge for hydration. As for the diet, I’m still on a weight gaining program so I’m targeting the strength and conditioning in the gym to help with the weight gain but also eating to fuel the training which is mostly a high protein high carb diet.

What are you doing for relaxation and chill-time?
I keep myself busy with games and running, I recently have taken up ping-pong – my coach Erik Bowers and I joined a ping-pong club in Fort Lauderdale, and we’ve been getting better. The skills are transferable to sailing (laughs), like being patient and waiting for your opponent to make a mistake or a serve that is dealt to you that you know you can return. But relaxing doesn’t come that easy – if I have free time, I always feel like I want to go cycling or play ping pong or walk my dog!

Who are your mentors & the people getting you through this right now?
Erik worked with me on the water during the Trials, and coach Greg Wilkinson who mentors both me and Erik. Greg helps more with the execution side – Erik and I develop the plan and Greg helps us fine-tune it so we can go out and execute. Erik is the on-water coach and overseer. I’m with Erik every day so he is able to tune into how I am feeling, my fatigue levels and all the on-water stuff – strategy, how we’re going to attack the racecourse etc.

How does your family support you?
My family loves me so much, they are so supportive, and I honestly love this about them: they don’t sail (laughs)! Whenever I come to them with sailing stuff or a related problem, it’s actually refreshing to get an outside perspective, they approach it like real people would rather than sailors who wrapped around this small world (laughs). There are actually a lot of things that are super beneficial about having non sailing parents – I learned to sail because they joined a yacht club for the social activities and were like, “You’re going to go sail while we do this!” They just want me to run wild with my dreams and I owe them everything.


Photos Courtesy US Sailing & Erika Reineke


Michelle SladeErika Reineke: A Well-Balanced Training Plan Includes Time for Ping Pong
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Awesome Job Alameda Community Sailing Center!

US Sailing recently honored ACSC with The Outstanding Community Sailing Program Award, given annually to a program that has made notable contributions to promote public access sailing. The St Francis Sailing Foundation could not be prouder of grantee ACSC for bringing home this important award. Program director Emily Zugnoni explains the magic behind what they are doing so well.

What aspect of ACSC are you particularly proud of, what do you think you do exceptionally well?
EZ: In 2023, ACSC had 30 instructional staff members, ranging in age from 14 to their mid-20’s, most of whom came through ACSC courses! We have a great staff development program, which begins with volunteer Counselors-In-Training, progressing to US Sailing Powerboat-certified Assistant Instructors, and finally to certified Sailing Instructors. ACSC pays well too! It’s important that we show staff appreciation through competitive wages and incentives for advancement.

During Summer Camp, ACSC puts upwards of 60 children per day on the water. We keep it safe (and fun and educational) by strictly upholding US Sailing safety standards for powerboat to sailboat ratios. Our excellent track record is a testament to our awesome, well-trained, and reliable staff members.

Importantly, what ACSC does best is make sailing FUN! Beginner sailors launch off of a beach in a shallow protected lagoon, which is perfect for confidence building. Then, outside the breakwater is some of the best dinghy sailing in the Bay Area. Multiple world champions come to sail out of ACSC!

What’s new in ACSC’s wheelhouse this year?
EZ: We have some exciting plans on the horizon…ACSC purchased two C420 sailboats, thanks to grant funding from the CA Division of Boating and Waterways, and we look forward to providing new intermediate and advanced classes with them. They’ll also be used to expand our weekend Learn-to-Sail courses for families and adults.

ACSC specializes in fun, non-competitive sailing. This year, we’re excited to expand our “Adventure Sails” from just a camp activity to a larger weekend program. Think about the excitement and community-building of a regatta, just without the racing. We will provide support boats and a course or destination to sail to. All interested sailors are invited to join in, and anyone interested in volunteering is also welcome. Helping with an Adventure Sail is similar to being on a race committee. Destinations could be as close as Crown Beach, or as far as McCovey Cove or Treasure Island.

How do know that ASCS is making a difference in the community it serves?
EZ: In general, we know we’re on the right track when parents of participants from all walks of life let us know how ACSC has helped their children develop confidence, and how that’s reflected throughout all aspects of their lives.

ACSC partners with several organizations who support underserved children and families. My favorite quote from an East Oakland mother is, “Before, her only career goal was the WNBA. Now, my daughter is also thinking about marine biology because she found a new home on the water.”

Through our Scholarship Program, ACSC breaks down the financial barrier to sailing. Annually, we raise and distribute about $50,000 in scholarships. This serves approximately 60 children from low-income households, and from populations traditionally underrepresented in sailing. A fun fact is that one-third of ACSC staff members were previous scholarship recipients.

Most ACSC participants come from non-sailing backgrounds. Without prior access to boats and the water, many never envisioned themselves becoming sailors. ACSC is honored to be able to introduce them to sailing, and in one of the greatest sailing locations in the whole world, San Francisco Bay! Creating accessible and affordable sailing opportunities is key to growing the sport. The St. Francis Sailing Foundation is a generous supporter of the Scholarship Program. Each year, there’s an increase in the number of scholarship requests, so it’s our ongoing task to secure additional funds to meet the ever-growing need in the community.

How are you keeping your older kids in the game & maintaining an interest in sailing?
EZ: Creating lifelong sailors is definitely the goal. To do this, we first work to ensure those initial sailing experiences are positive. If sailors don’t gain the technical skills right away, that’s okay. It’s more important that they develop a connection to sailing and a desire to come back and learn more. If they enjoyed the experience and internalized a “sailor” identity, even if several years go by, they can always return to sailing.

To create positive experiences– ones that aren’t just fun, but also push kids out of their comfort zones, and instill a sense of accomplishment, we focus on the social-emotional aspects of learning. ACSC instructors must be patient, empathetic, and endlessly encouraging. They need to create environments that inspire exploration, bravery, and confidence-building.

Once they’re hooked, ACSC provides sailors with accessible and affordable ways to stay connected to the sport. That can be done through joining the staff, or through low-cost, zero-commitment sailing opportunities like Open Sail. With Open Sail, you don’t need to own (or bear the financial burden of storing) a boat. Sailors of all ages can come to ACSC and go sailing, and even take a friend.

For middle-school sailors who have outgrown prams, but are not ready for FJs, we’re big fans of the RS Fevas, which we received thanks to US Sailing’s Siebel Sailors Program. And for high schoolers who crave something more, we hope the new C420s add a bit more speed and spice. Lastly, we have a strong Laser racing program, Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons, mostly made up of mature sailors and empty nesters wanting to get back to sailing.



Michelle SladeAwesome Job Alameda Community Sailing Center!
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Foundation Community Claims 2023 Club Trophies

The St Francis Sailing Foundation is very proud of it’s community of athletes who took home important trophies for 2023 awarded by the St Francis Yacht Club this week. Mike Martin, StFSF board member and his crew Adam Lowry shared the Jerome B. White Yachtsman of the Year Trophy. Grantee Hans Henken won the ROBERT C. EVANS MEMORIAL TROPHY, and grantee Daniela Moroz won the St. Francis Yacht Club Yachtswoman of the Year Trophy. Way to go!

The ROBERT C. EVANS MEMORIAL TROPHY recognizes the most outstanding achievement of a skipper racing under the StFYC burgee in a national or international small boat championship regatta during the preceding year. Hans Henken has spent the majority of his career competing on the US Sailing Team in the 49er class with a goal of making it into the Olympics – for which he qualified last weekend! Hans Henken will be representing the US in France this year. He was a gold medal-winner at the 2023 Pan Am Games, but he’s not limited to small skiff racing. In SailGP’s F50 catamarans, he served as Flight Controller on Team USA during the 2023 season. A proud Member of StFYC, he never fails to enter regattas under our burgee.

The ST. FRANCIS YACHT CLUB YACHTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR TROPHY consists of the Presto Cup won by W.F. Stone at the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition, with a base donated by Karl and Lois Limbach. It is awarded to the woman Member or partner of a Member for her contribution to the sport of yachting in the broadest sense of the definition. Not only did Daniela Moroz qualify the United States for the 2024 Paris Olympics in the Women’s Kite category, but she was also the first American sailor to do so this year, and the first American kitefoiler ever. Additional accomplishments this year include winning Gold at the Pan Am Games, and first in the Women’s Kite class at the Miami and Clearwater stops of the US Open Sailing Series. At the World Sailing Championships, she was fifth overall. Year after year, this accomplished sailor continues to impress us with her victories, determination, and talent.

JEROME B. WHITE YACHTSMAN OF THE YEAR TROPHY is awarded to the Member who has made the greatest contribution during the preceding calendar year to the sport of yachting in the broadest sense of the definition. Mike Martin and Adam Lowry will share the Jerome B. White Yachtsman of the Year Trophy in 2023. This duo of longtime StFYC Members and sailing partners had another amazing season on the water. They won the 505 World Championship, held here at StFYC. It was a tough challenge right up to the final race. They also won the Pre-Worlds. They topped the podium at the Elvstrom-Zellerbach Regatta and the Columbia Gorge Regatta. At our Fall Dinghy Regatta, they were third in class. Though we know them well as podium-topping 5O5 sailors, they are also accomplished kitefoilers. At the US Open Sailing Series at StFYC, Mike was first in the Open Kite, just ahead of Adam, who was second – so they both got to share the podium in that sport, too!

Content: courtesy St Francis Yacht Club
Photo: courtesy StFYC, L to R: Adam Lowry, Mike Martin, Linda Moroz for Daniela Moroz, Hans Henken






Michelle SladeFoundation Community Claims 2023 Club Trophies
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Foundation Grantees Selected for First America’s Cup Women’s Event on a Foiling Monohull

The St Francis Sailing Foundation (StFSF) is proud to have in its inventory of grantees women sailors who are at the pinnacle of not only their own sailing careers, but that of women in sailing. Just recently, six sailors were named to the New York Yacht Club American Magic Women’s Team who will compete at the Puig Women’s America’s Cup scheduled from October 10-16, 2024, in Barcelona, Spain, in 2024.

On the squad are four Olympians, two former winners of US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year award, and a recent winner of The Ocean Race, including:

Francesca Clapcich: Park City, UT
Erika Reineke: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Steph Roble: East Troy, WI & Miami, FL
Helena Scutt: Kirkland, WA & San Francisco, CA
Sara Stone: Marion, MA
Anna Weis: Fort Lauderdale, FL

StFSF is immensely proud that four of the six sailors selected are Foundation grantees: Steph Roble, Erika Reineke, Helena Scutt and Anna Weis, paving the way for the future of women in sailing. Reineke commented, “Women in sailing at the elite level is finally here – it’s now up to the individuals and the teams that we are on to really run with it. That there is now a women’s circuit speaks to where this sport is going and the opportunities ahead.”

An overall training plan is in place and while AC40s may not be available to the women’s team until May 2024, they are getting as much simulator training as time presently allows given that each team member has a lot going on outside of the America’s Cup; the Olympics, SailGP, the Ocean Race and Super Series.

Steph Roble

“We are all racing at the highest levels in the sport and are constantly learning and progressing as sailors even if we aren’t immediately logging time in the AC40,” Robles noted. “We’ll get as much time on the simulator in Barcelona as possible – getting confident and comfortable with boat handling will be a big goal for racing.”

In the simulator the team can learn AC40 boat handling and boat speed and can drill down on starts and actual racing skills that they will need to perfect. Reineke noted that her big take-home from the simulator sessions is the muscle memory she is developing for the control buttons that basically run the boat.

“Establishing that muscle memory for where each button is so that you can keep your head out of the boat, keep the boat foiling and going fast, and make the tactical decisions that hopefully put you in the front,” she said. “Then there is coordinating those maneuvers with the team as they are also all pushing buttons – it’s definitely not dinghy sailing. We’re not a 49er and even a Moth is different.”

Anna Weis

Weis agreed, “My experience trimming in the Nacra, and the communication skills required there, understanding where you are on the racecourse are, those cross over skills I hope will be valuable. I’ve always had a sheet in my hand to trim but now I’ll be trimming with buttons so that will be an adjustment.”

While roles haven’t yet officially been assigned within the team Roble and Reineke are slated to helm, and Scutt and Weis are likely to step in as trimmers.

“While my strength is on the helm and making decisions on the racecourse, the exciting thing about the team is that everyone has a unique background and brings different strengths to the table, so we are going to see how roles evolve as we hit the simulator together,” Roble commented.

Scutt may have the most foiling experience on the team and in her engineering role with American Magic, she is familiar with the AC40. Nonetheless she reminds us that the boats are extremely fast and there will be a lot to learn.

“For trimming I need to learn the correct sail shapes and settings for different wind speeds up and downwind, the nuances of how we take off – how we go from displacement mode to foiling as quickly as possible and acceleration for starts, tacks and gybes – there is plenty to learn there.”

The women unanimously concur that communications between the team will be extremely important.  While communication is more of the driver’s job, on the AC40 it’s difficult to see from the other side of the boat or past the boat because the sail comes all the way to the deck, noted Scutt, which means the trimmer also needs to be sharp with communications.

“It’s like having a wall on one side of you at all times,” Scutt said. “Being able to paint a picture from the other side of the boat, from a tactical and strategic perspective, will be really important so learning about those communications and how to sail the boat with that limited visibility will be really critical.”

Helena Scutt

Scutt continued, “In order to be competitive, we need to be able to sail the AC40 instinctively as possible and be comfortable enough in the boat so that we can just focus on racing,” Scutt said. “If there is anything that Moth sailing has taught me is that the boats are so difficult to sail you can be fast in a straight line but without a good foundation in boat handling, you’re going to give up so many meters around the course that you just can’t compete.”

Coach for the New York Yacht Club American Magic Women’s Team, and long-time Foundation associate, Charlie Ogletree commented, “The team we have selected are some of the most professional sailors I have worked with, and I am honored to be involved with them and the AM/NYYC Women’s AC Team. Their willingness to win, work hard and be open minded to accelerate their learning process is something we can all learn from. Once we receive our boat, we will begin a training program in Barcelona with the women’s team and the youth team. This will push our sailors to an incredibly high level with the goal of winning the WAC and the YAC in the fall!”

All the women’s teams will have limited time on the AC40 setting up a fairly even platform across the competition; ultimately, the biggest challenge the women will face is learning on an accelerated time frame and getting as much training time together as they want.

“Time is always the challenge in any big project,” Roble said. “We are racing the clock to get enough hours in the boat, learn new team dynamics and understand a new style of racing. We must be smart with our limited time.”

Erika Reineke

Like the other women, Rieneke has a full dance card going into 2024, including the Paris Olympics.

“Throw SailGP in there too!” she smiled. “It’s definitely a lot but each of the projects balance out the other sailing I am doing. Sailing in the F50 makes me a better Radial sailor and sailing the Moth makes me a better F50 and Radial sailor. They all complement each other and doing different projects really helps the sport be new and refreshing. Even though it’s full on and I’m constantly sailing all the time, it feels awesome to be able to do all these things.”

Just what does it mean to be on the first America’s Cup Women’s team to race on a foiling monohull?

Steph Roble (East Troy, WI & Miami, FL): It’s a huge honor. If you told me 10 years ago that I’d be racing in the first ever women’s America’s Cup in a foiling boat, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. However, I’m really proud to be in this position. I am so grateful to have had women who inspired me to pursue the Olympics and professional sailing. Now I hope to help inspire and pave a path for future women’s sailors.

Erika Reineke: It’s something that I always wanted as a young Opti sailor – I can remember looking up to people like Jimmy (Spithill) and other past Cup winners and always admired what they were doing. It means the world to me finally seeing it come together, to compete with women who I highly respect flying the US flag, and being supported by a team who I believe will perform exceptionally in the AC37. It’s a dream come true.

Helena Scutt: It’s a tremendously exciting opportunity, it feels like I’m combining so many different aspects of things that I have worked towards over the last fifteen years from sailing the 49FX in Rio – the first Olympics with a high-performance skiff class. It was cool to make history then and this feels similar. I also love that it ties into my work as an engineer. It is a big opportunity for women in sport and sailing and it will be a great way for women to become immersed in the higher performance world.

Anna Weis: It means everything to me in the sense that I’ve been pushing for women in sailing for a long time and I am really honored to be part of the “first”. I never fully imagined myself to be here;  I never imagined myself to be going to the Olympics let alone here. I’ve just put my head down and worked hard and I enjoy what I am doing. It’s cool to have been able to track my progress like this, with a lot of help from others of course, and a huge honor. I am grateful to all my supporters. I’m really lucky!

Official story and sailor profiles: https://americanmagic.americascup.com/en/news/148_New-York-Yacht-Club-American-Magic-Announces-Women-s-Team-for-the-Puig-Womens-Americas-Cup-2024.html
Stay updated with NYYC American Magic’s Women’s Team on AmericanMagic.com and on Instagram @AmericanMagicTeam

Michelle SladeFoundation Grantees Selected for First America’s Cup Women’s Event on a Foiling Monohull
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Community Sailing Full Steam Ahead at Treasure Island Sailing Center

For some 24 years, Treasure Island Sailing Center (TISC) has been offering broad access to the sport of sailing by providing facilities and sailing instruction to people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, skill levels, and physical abilities. While the center continues to grow its programming to cater to the diverse needs of its community base, TISC’s “Set Sail Learn” program is still a mainstay and rocking and rolling like never before, notes Chris Childers, TISC Director.

“Registration for Set Sail Learn was launched at the beginning of the school year and filled up within 2 days for a total of 24 class spots taken this fall,” Childers noted. “TISC expects to see 600 students this fall and another 600 students in the spring as part of this program.”

A flagship initiative for San Francisco city fourth graders which is now in its 8th year, “Set Sail Learn” was launched by the St Francis Sailing Foundation and TISC, and since 2015 has successfully ushered thousands of kids through STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – learning both on the water through sailing as well as in a hands-on classroom environment at the Treasure Island Sailing Center. Fourth graders get to learn about all things related to San Francisco Bay as well as the basic principles of sailing, exposing many of the city’s children to the Bay for the first time which opens doors to learning in a stimulating, natural, and fun environment.

Next up, a relatively new program at TISC is a Leadership Program to engage young people in different aspects of sailing. Once teens have a set of foundational sailing skills, they can choose from one of three tracks to explore the world of sailing outside of their previous summer camp experiences: Learn to Race exposes young people to performance sailing techniques and introduces low stakes friendly competition in the form of dinghy racing; Learn to Teach helps young people gain the skills to help others learn the basics of sailing, and prepare to take the Level 1 Instructor Certification; and Learn to Day Sail gives sailors the skills to begin sailing keelboats and planning day trips to local destinations. In Summer 2023 TISC had 8 students in Learn to Teach, 8 Students in Learn to Race, and 5 students in Learn to Day Sail tracks.

“Teens and transitional age youth and young adults require a lot more social stimulation and project-based learning in order to stay engaged, so these classes all build in a lot of socialization and independent problem solving,” Childers said. “We are very proud of one of our sailors who has been a part of this program for the  past two years and recently became employed by TISC through the Learn to Teach track.  A 16-year-old BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) man, he was a non-sailor, with no family having had any experience on the water, and low water comfort himself. This summer he was our first sailor to get up on a trapeze, and this fall he is participating as an instructor in our Set Sail Learn program 3 days a week.”

Childers added that other highlights of the TISC summer Leadership Program included:

  • Learn to Day Sail sailors getting to the Golden Gate Bridge in a J24 and turning and burning with the Symmetrical Spinnaker back to the sailing center.
  • Learn to Race students participating in a High School Sailing Boot Camp, many of whom are not in high school yet but chose to sail to help the group train and get better.

TISC is also hosting two young ladies from the Life Learning Academy, the local on-island high school, as interns to support Set Sail Learn experiences. They are working to become student teachers for classroom lessons on Wind Power, Crab Ecology and Maritime History of San Francisco Bay to help students explore and understand the classroom activities. They also help TISC young sailors launch their boats, help students into life jackets and helmets, and provide a welcoming environment for visitors.

“TISC is incredibly grateful to the St Francis Sailing Foundation for providing support of our programs and operations,” Childers noted. “The impact that we can make on our community and our sense of connection to the Bay is made possible by the generosity of the Foundation and its supporters, and our entire community is appreciative for this support.”


Michelle SladeCommunity Sailing Full Steam Ahead at Treasure Island Sailing Center
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Mixing it up with the World’s Best: Charlotte Rose Makes Top 5 at World Championships

Competing in the ICLA 6 at the recent Sailing World Championships in The Hague, the Netherlands, St Francis Sailing Foundation (StFSF) grantee Charlotte Rose took fifth overall, an incredible accomplishment. Both Rose and fellow US Sailing Team member and StFSF grantee Erika Reinecke qualified the USA for Paris 2024 in the ICLA 6. Reflecting at home in Houston and taking some well-earned time off with just a little sailing and some coaching, Rose is feeling good about where she’s at in her quest for Paris 2024.

“Going into the Worlds, I felt a bit nervous the week prior – my main goal at the Worlds was to just qualify the country,” Rose recalled. “There were a lot of rules, and it was my first combined Worlds, so it was a lot to take in with all the other Olympic classes and everyone there. But once racing started it was about focusing on what I could do. It wasn’t just me stressing about country qualification, everyone else was also. I just felt if I could stay as calm as I could and focus on me, I thought the result would end up okay.”

And it did.

Rose had nothing to lose going into the Medal Race. Entering in 5th overall, she’d managed to put enough points between her and 6th place Emma Plasschaert (Belgium), so the only way she could go was up the leaderboard. With all points in play above her, Rose sailed an aggressive final race in very light conditions on the North Sea. She rounded the leeward gate in fifth and ultimately dropped back to 9th to close out the race but stood by her decision to try mostly anything and give it her all.

Throughout the Worlds she found one of the most difficult obstacles was working the North Sea current but leaning on her college sailing experience at Jacksonville University where much of her sailing was on a river with ripping current, she understood how she needed to set up for racing in The Hague.

“Everyone was pretty shocked by the current and I think a lot of sailors were stressed about that and trying to figure it out,” Rose said. “I’m used to current and knew how I’d set up for it, how the windward mark roundings would go etc. I felt like I had a competitive edge on that, having a good sense of how far I was moving on the line etc. because of the current. But honestly, I just felt really fast the entire week, so I trusted my speed, we had pretty decent breeze most of the week, so I felt confident in that.”

Rose noted that she and her coach Alex Saldanha from Brazil (he coached Robert Scheidt in the Rio quad) started working together November 2022 are working well together and had a simple strategy going into the competition.

“I felt like at the Worlds it was business as usual, we had fun, didn’t take it too seriously but we executed what we needed to execute,” she said. “A lot of it was pretty simple, we tried not to make it complicated, I think people tend to over-complicate a lot of it. Alex and I were consistent about communicating, like what I was seeing on the compass, what I thought was going better etc.”

It was fortunate that the Men’s fleet sailed before the Women’s fleet so Rose was able to observe the outcome of their races.

“I’m very visual so I like to watch, see who crosses and who doesn’t, then I share that with Alex, he does all the measurements – how much current is going on, if the line is square and what the wind is doing relative to that,” Rose commented. “We were also on top of the forecast in the morning and very disciplined about, “this is what is happening right now,” and then taking those facts and figuring out how I could immediately apply it to my next race.”

The women who took places first through fourth to beat Rose are literally the best in the world, she noted.

“I’m sailing alongside world champions, Olympic medalists, youth world champions – gold, silver & bronze medalists. I think at the beginning of the season I struggled with intimidation until my coach reminded me that I also deserved to be up there given I’ve won two Youth Worlds and I have a pretty long list of accomplishments. That built my confidence a little more. Finishing fifth, I felt like I deserved it, not in a cocky way but I’ve worked hard to get here.”

Training resumes for Rose in October and although she has a big gap between international competitions with her next big event the 2024 ICLA 6 World Championship at the beginning of January in Argentina., the pressure is on, she reminds.

“The next couple of months is a lot of training, then the World Championship, then a month later is the Olympic trials in Miami, where I have to beat Erika if I want to go to the Olympics,” Rose smiled.

With the close of Worlds, USA has now qualified for Paris 2024 in the following classes:

– 49er, achieved by Andrew Mollerus & Ian MacDiarmid (USST) and Ian Barrows & Hans Henken (USST)

– 49er FX, achieved by Steph Roble OLY & Maggie Shea OLY (USST)

Women’s Formula Kite, achieved by Daniela Moroz (USST)

– ILCA 6, achieved by Charlotte Rose (USST) and Erika Reineke (USST)

Photo credit: US Sailing

Michelle SladeMixing it up with the World’s Best: Charlotte Rose Makes Top 5 at World Championships
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All Eyes on Olympic Hopefuls at 2023 Sailing World Championships

The largest regatta of the year for Olympic athletes is the 2023 Sailing World Championships which kicks off August 11 in The Hague (Netherlands). It’s a massive event mentally and physically for the sailing athletes competing as it’s the first opportunity to qualify the USA in each Olympic class for the Paris 2024. Photo: Hans Henken/Ian Barrows.

Among those participating is a large group of St Francis Sailing Foundation grantees including Louisa Nordstrom/Trevor Bornarth and Stu McNay/Lara Dallman-Weiss (Mixed 470), Ian Barrows/Hans Henken (49er), Stephanie Roble/Maggie Shea (49er FX ), Erika Reineke and Charlotte Rose (ILCA 6), Chapman Petersen (ILCA 7), Kai Calder and Markus Edegran (Men’s Formula Kite), Daniela Moroz (Women’s Formula Kite), and Sarah Newberry Moore/David Liebenberg (Nacra 17).

At the Paris 2024 Test Event held in July in Marseille, France, Moroz secured both a bronze medal and her nomination to Team USA. She’s previously won six World Championship titles and hopes to qualify the USA for a Paris 2024 spot at the Worlds. The competition is working her hard this year with rivals Lauriane Nolot (France) and Eleanor Aldridge (UK) performing at the top of their games taking first and second places consecutively at the Test Event. Moroz nonetheless remains positive.

“It was exciting to be racing at the Olympic venue for next year; I think Marseille is a very technical venue,” she said. “It requires a lot of time on the water because every day is so different and such a challenge in different ways, so it was good to train there for five weeks training before the Test Event.”

Moroz commented that the racing was challenging as was to be expected, noting that competitors experienced almost every Marseille wind direction possible from a small mistral to a sea breeze, to offshore breeze; a solid platform to work through moves in all conditions.

“In Marseille I felt like I had good speed most of the time but sometimes I made mistakes with strategy execution especially my starting strategy, so I was struggling to put everything together to get a solid regatta,” Moroz said. “I’m trying to keep my confidence up and I know I am capable of winning regattas and races. We’re working a lot on starts and boat speed – it’s no secret that boat speed makes you a tactical genius! It’s important to be fast in order to execute your strategies.”

Moroz is also excited to have formed a solid training group for the winter; she’ll collaborate with the Kiwis which she believes will be a big aid to her campaign.

“It’s a nice and supportive group of people which was important for me to find because I felt like I wouldn’t be able to get that from other people – it’s such a cut-throat environment the closer you get to the Olympics – people will grow apart from their training partnerships going into the Games whereas I feel like this is a strong long-term partnership where I really trust the people to help me while they work hard to improve themselves and I can help them.”

Henkens and Barrows came out of the Test Event in sixth place. They sailed a good series and went into the medal race two points from the podium, proving to themselves that they are a team more than capable of winning an Olympic at the Paris Games while recognizing areas to improve on at the Worlds this week.

“The past two World Championships we finished 4th and 11th,” Henkens said. “They were both good results, but we are still looking for that break through event to get us on the podium at a major event. Consistency is everything for us, if we focus on staying within our routine and doing the small fundamental things right – clear communication around the racecourse, making sure to take advantage of the easy opportunities, staying within lay lines, starting with space on the line, choosing good times to tack and gybe – I know we will be in it when the end of the regatta comes around.”

Henken added that The Hague is a challenging venue not only because it’s very shifty when it comes from the shore, but it’s a huge tidal venue.

“The current is going to be a huge factor in the racing and getting that aspect right will go a long way to making moves up the leader board,” he said. “It’s clear that anyone can do well right now in the 49er fleet. It’s incredibly competitive. At the last two events in Hyeres and Marseille there were seven teams in the medal race all within four points of each other looking to finish on the podium. It’s all bow-to-bow racing and every point matters. We are in the mix and it’s right where we want to be.”

World Championship Event website: https://allianzsailingworlds.com
Entry list: HERE
Tracking: HERE

Note: Any American can qualify the USA for spots in Paris, not just US Sailing Team members.

Photo credit: US Sailing

Michelle SladeAll Eyes on Olympic Hopefuls at 2023 Sailing World Championships
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Following a Fast Passion – Helena Scutt on the 2023 Moth Worlds

I’m excited to share that by the time you read this, I will be living in Barcelona and working as a Mechatronics Engineer for American Magic. I’m pumped to be joining this team and immersing myself in the America’s Cup that combines sailing and engineering at the highest levels. I know I’ll learn a tremendous amount and I can’t wait to get started. In the meantime, I’d like to share a recap of the most important sailing event for me this year: the recent 2023 Wetsuit Outlet and Zhik Moth World Championship which came and went like the wind…well, kind of.

Due to a lack of wind and therefore lack of racing, on the trip home I had a strange feeling of emptiness and disbelief, mixed with gratitude and still raring to go, as if it hasn’t even started yet. We were only able to complete two races per qualifying fleet (two fleets of 64 boats) in seven days. The cruel part is that we had great conditions for over two weeks before the Worlds, and then a terribly unlucky week-long window for the Worlds. It was almost always under 7 knots for a week straight. The days of waiting on shore, starting at 6:30 am in the boat park, and going out to try and start a race all blended together. I finished 36th/128 overall and top female. However, due to the four-race minimum to constitute a World Championship, the event did not count as a Worlds!

I was really glad to have two weeks of boat work and training – mostly boat work! – before the event.  The UK Open, held a couple of days before the Worlds, provided us with five races to tune up for the main event. This regatta showed me that I needed to work on my starts, and that my speed was good.

One highlight was the Women’s and Youth clinic that was held before the UK Open. Lining up for speed tuning and drills with the other female sailors was super fun and we were all buzzing. I can’t wait for more of that! The lowlight was breaking a tiller in a tack when the mainsheet got wrapped around my ankle, just 10 minutes into a practice session the day before the UK Open, and after several 12-hour days of a little sailing and lot of boat work!

Since we only had two races, I’ll go into a bit of detail on each. They both had great moments and both had one big mistake. In the first race of Worlds, I came off the foils in a gybe just before the start. I was able to get foiling just after the start, but most of the fleet was already way ahead. However, with some solid, disciplined strategic decisions and good speed I overtook almost 40 boats to finish 18th. I was able to capitalize on the catch-up opportunities presented by the bottom of the course (gate mark and finish) being so light that boats fell off the foils (including me).

In the second race, I realized the boat end of the start line would be crowded and therefore risky. With just over two minutes to go, I made the decision to start on port. All I had to do was make all of my gybes and time my final approach well. I started on port at the pin with speed, and was able to go to the favored right side. I had good speed and foiling tacks, rounded the leeward gate in the top 15. I should have over stood the gate marks but did not, so I had to do another gybe and round the right hand gate to stay foiling. I thought I saw pressure on the left side of the course along the harbor wall, but it never came, so once I tacked onto port, I had to low-ride (not foiling) almost all the way to starboard layline. Brutal! About ten boats passed me from that bad decision, so I finished 25th.

While waiting for wind, the women in the fleet gathered for a chat on several topics. These badass sailors all have different paths to Moth sailing and they all inspire me. We all shared some thoughts on Moth sailing and how to get started, check it out the conversation here. 

Something I am proud of is my adaptation to new gear just before the event. I only had a couple of days of sailing before Worlds to adjust to using a new Quantum H1M mainsail, short (foil) verticals, and a Bieker V8 main foil. My experience over the past couple of years in setting up and trying different gear, and learning how to get it dialed quickly is starting to pay off! I was able to adjust my technique and make the boat fast without much prep time.

I’d like to thank the UK International Moth Class Association, the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy, the event organizers, the many volunteers, the race committee, and the event sponsors. I know this week was just as strange and frustrating for them as for the competitors.  A big thank you goes to the St Francis Sailing Foundation for the support to attend Worlds, and to my sponsors Ronstan and Vakaros. I love Moth sailing for all the following reasons and am excited to be part of the international Moth community:

  • Constant learning on all fronts.
  • The sensation of flying, going fast, landing a smooth tack or gybe.
  • Learning about boatwork and trying new ways to do things.
  • Learning about different foils and sail shapes.
  • The athletic challenge and full-body workout.
  • The mental challenge of training and performing at event.
  • The interesting, passionate people that I meet.
  • The cool places that I get to sail.
  • The opportunity to master new skills: skippering (I was always a crew in double handed boats), being fully responsible for tactics and strategy, and surprising myself with performing under pressure.
  • Lineups, discussions, and laughs with my training partners Richard and Brooks.Inspiring other sailors, especially women and girls, to try Moth sailing. 

Follow me in Barcelona on instagram @helenas9.


Michelle SladeFollowing a Fast Passion – Helena Scutt on the 2023 Moth Worlds
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US Para Team Set Sail for the Allianz Sailing World Championship

Lead image: Betsy Alison, US Sailing Director of Adult programs & Paralympic Coach. Credit: Walter Cooper US Sailing

John Seepe was in the Navy and 26 years old when he started sailing. He claims to have been self-taught and thought he knew how to sail until he started one design racing in the Thunderbird fleet in Seattle in the mid-90s, where he jokes, he got his butt handed to him. His life situation changed dramatically when four years ago he lost his leg, among other serious injuries, in an accident. Nonetheless, he’s still sailing at a highly competitive level, and he’s still smiling.

“I was riding a motorcycle to work when an Uber driver turned left and ran me over at a green light,” Seepe, 61, from North Port, FL, said. “I ended up with a plate in my right wrist, a plate in my left shoulder and my left leg was more or less ripped off.”

Seepe was recently selected to join the US Para Sailing Team, which will represent the United States in all four Paralympic classes at the Allianz Sailing World Championship in the Hague, the Netherlands and taking place in the port of Scheveningen from August 10-20, 2023. Like the rest of his teammates, he has a gracious acceptance of his disability and feels more than anything fortunate to be alive.

“I’m lucky to be here and I’m glad they had enough blood at the blood bank!” he commented good humoredly. “I’m going through physical therapy right now so that my prosthetic will bolt directly onto my leg.”

The team, which was granted funds by the St Francis Sailing Foundation to attend the World Championship, will be led by Betsy Alison, five-time Rolex Yachtswomen of the Year, who will race in the Hansa 303 women’s division. 2008 Paralympic Gold medal winner Maureen McKinnon is also on the team sailing in the RS Venture Connect. Joining the women are John Seepe (2.4 Meter) and Jim Thweatt (Hansa 303 men’s division). Shan McAdoo will sail on the RS Venture Connect with McKinnon. All five are veteran sailors with loads of experience under their belts and selected based on their outstanding sailing resumes.

The combined World Championships is a major stop on the road to the Paris 2024 Games and is one of the biggest international events with over 1500 sailors expected on the 2023 Olympic and Para sailing calendar. Up to forty countries and some 125+ sailors are expected to race in the Para classes on Brassemermeer (a lake between Amsterdam and the Hague), and several countries like the US will field a team in each of the Para Sailing events.  This is the first time that the Para classes will be sailing the combined World Championships alongside their Olympic counterparts, a meaningful action by World Sailing for Para Sailors as Alison acknowledges.

“In past iterations of this combined World Championship, it’s always been Olympic classes gathering together to compete; Para classes were never invited to sail Worlds at the same time,” Alison (age 62 From Newport, RI) commented. “World Sailing leadership has worked really hard over the last 8 or 9 years to get sailing back into the Paralympic Games, and they realize that elite sailing at the Para level is really important to recognize. We had hoped that our application to the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) for re-inclusion would result in a positive response from the IPC and that we would be back on the slate of events for LA 2028. That did not happen, but World Sailing recognized nonetheless that having this combined World Championship, which happens every four years, was an important event to include the Para classes and this is the first time it’s ever been done.”

Seepe sailed the Hansa 303, the RS Venture Connect but fell in love with the 2.4m and committed to the boat in December 2019 when he received a grant boat from the Clagett Foundation. His training program leading into the Worlds is impressive. In late June he’ll compete in the US Para Championships at Clagett Regatta/US Para Sailing Championship in Newport, RI. From there Seepe heads to Finland for the Nordic Championships in the middle of July, followed by the 2.4 World Championships also in Finland  which finishes on August 5. On August 6, he flies to the Hague for the World Championships.

“You always go out hoping for the best and obviously you want to go into the Clagett building off everything and that’s really what my hopes are,” Seepe said. “Most of our sailing is done on tidal water so I think there will be a little bit of learning there – Clagett is on tidal water – and the following two regattas – the Nordic Championships and the 2.4 Worlds will both be on lakes so it will be good to get some lake sailing in prior to the Netherlands where the Worlds Sailing Championships will be sailed.”

Thweatt has been involved in adaptive sports since the ‘70s after losing his leg in high school. He learned how to ski, joined the ski team, skied for 20 years, and sailed in the summer coastal sailing off Dana Point in Southern California. A physical therapist, Thweatt became interested in racing as a Para sailor after watching Paralympic quadriplegic sailor Paul Callahan in the Sonar at the Sydney Olympics in 2002. Thweatt said to his wife at that time, “You know, I can do that sport.”

Thweatt (69, from West Sacramento, CA), started training, attending Betsy’s camps, and learning as much as he could and training as hard as he could on the water and in the gym. He has sailed with and competed in the Hansa fleet out of San Francisco for the past 20 years and competed in multiple Paralympic campaigns in the three-person Sonar class as well as PHRF sailing on San Francisco Bay.

“The Hansa 303 is an interesting boat, it’s a great platform because of its side-by-side seating which can accommodate 2 people, but at the Worlds, we will be sailing in a single person format,” Thweatt explained. “It’s considered a non-technical boat, but you can still get a lot of out of it. A number of Paralympic athletes have gone from the Sonar and other boats that are no longer a Para Sailing class into the Hansa, so the field is deep.”

Thweatt added that the Hansa is the only Para Sailing class boat readily available on the west coast for racing, there are a few 2.4m and RS Venture Connect boats and sailors but not in fleets,  the Hansa fleet has training programs in Sacramento, San Francisco, and San Diego where he has run three races this year.

Alison got involved with Para sailing in 1998 when she was invited to coach two of the Sonar teams at the 1998 Disabled World Championships held in Newport, RI. She knew nothing about coaching people with disabilities at that time, then over the next twenty years learned a whole lot, she acknowledged with a wry smile. When Para sailing was removed from the slate of Paralympic sports in 2016, Alison transitioned from coaching Paralympic Sailing within US Sailing to become director of adult programs, adaptive sailing now falls under her purview.

Since 2021, Alison has been the Chair of the Para World Sailing Committee, and not thinking for a minute that she would one day be a recipient of her efforts on this committee until she acquired a disability in November 2022 when she underwent surgery for a massive cancerous tumor in her left hip which left her with very little bone structure and very little muscle in her left hip. Now, she will not only lead the US Para team at the World Championships, but she will also be racing the Hansa 303 in the women’s division. She’s not driven a car or sat in a boat since her surgery given the discomfort of sitting for extended periods but is hopeful to get some time on the Hansa before too long.

“A lot of my training will be dependent on whether I can find a Hansa to sail more locally, and I promise I will get in a boat and sail it prior to going to Europe!” Alison said determinedly. “I’m going to be very reliant on my skill sets from having been an active racer for over fifty years and taking those tactical/technical skills and head-out-of-the-boat skills to put them to the test on shorter course lake sailing – that type of environment that really does put a premium on what you know and how you apply it on the water.”

Commenting on the Hansa, Alison noted that it is limited in terms of possible adjustments putting a premium on trimming sails well and getting one’s head out of the boat and sailing technically well.

“It’s still about finding the shifts, the puffs – what good sailors do all the time – you can’t necessarily fall back on adjustments although there are small things that you can do in this non-technical boat to make it faster and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”

McAdoo and McKinnon who hail from the same yacht club in Beverly, MA, began sailing together after McKinnon’s long time gold medal teammate Nick Scandone passed away in 2009.

“Shan knows me as an able-bodied walking-on-earth kind of person, and I’ve known him prior to his MS diagnosis,” McKinnon (58, from Salem, MA) explained. “When Nick passed away and I needed a teammate, I knew of Shan’s diagnosis and that he probably had the ability to qualify as a disabled sailor at the very high end. But he wasn’t ready to be part of that and felt as though he was a bit of an imposter in our group as his disability wasn’t yet obvious.”

McAdoo and McKinnon have tried different two-person boats and the Worlds will be the first time that they will race together in the RS Venture Connect, a three-sailboat with a main, jib and small asymmetrical spinnaker, centralized controls, and fixed seats for participants so those with severe disabilities can be in the boat without sliding around.

“We have done some training on the Charles River (Boston) to get ready for the event,” McKinnon noted. “The RS Venture is a spinnaker boat that is considered technical, with lots of lines similar to the SKUD18 while maybe not as powerful. Our boat has less sail area, especially the spinnaker. I’m really looking forward to sailing an asymmetric again, it’s been a very long time, I’m really looking forward to sailing with Shan!”

McKinnon added that the inclusion of Para sailors in the Worlds is eventful to the team and an important measure of equality between Para sailors and able-bodied counterparts.

Raised on cruising boats throughout the Caribbean and southeastern US, moving into racing was a natural progression for McAdoo from a young age.

“I did a lot of able-bodied racing but as my MS has set in and done its job, I have been happily received in the disabled sailing community and I have been grateful for that,” McAdoo (56, from Essex, MA) said. “The fantastic thing about being a sailor is you get to keep sailing. This sport is unbelievable for its ability to be an adaptive sport. As my MS has progressed and things have gotten harder for me in every other aspect of life, I can still keep sailing; that is what excites me and that is what I am looking forward to.”

He added, laughing, “I’m a little anxious to be honest – we have a woman on this team who has five Rolex watches and another woman who has a gold medal. If this team doesn’t produce some results, it’s going to be the new guy’s fault. I’m just excited to be part of the team and can hardly wait to get over there and stretch our wings.”

*In addition to funding by the St Francis Sailing Foundation, this effort is being mostly self-funded by the participants. The team has put together a website with pictures and bios here. The team is seeking any tax-deductible contribution you can provide through the KMAC Foundation, scan code below.

Note: Currently, Para sailing is not on the current slate of events for either Paris 2024 or LA 2028.  Para sailing was removed by the IPC after the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games citing that World Sailing only provided proof of 31 countries participating not meeting the IPC minimum number of countries (32) that were expected to be regularly practicing the sport worldwide. World Sailing redoubled its efforts to support and grow Para sailing worldwide through Paralympic Development Program (PDP) clinics in developing nations around the world, providing coaching and instruction for both sailors and coaches around the world.  Over the past several years, PDPs have helped grow Para sailing to approximately 40 countries on all continents.  There are programs in Asia, Oceania, Europe, North and South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Northern Africa and South Africa.  Competition to get into the Games is fierce with far more sports wanting inclusion than the number of slots available.  World Sailing is determined to keep the pedal down with sights on Australia for the 2032 Paralympic Games.

Michelle SladeUS Para Team Set Sail for the Allianz Sailing World Championship
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