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Edegran Heads to the Olympics; Give This Guy High Performance Anytime!

(Photo credit: Lexi Pline, US Sailing Team) 31-year-old Markus Edegran, who hails from West Palm Beach, FL, made the transition from high performance sailing in M32s, GC32s, and AC45s to kite foiling in 2019. He learned to become competitive in the class through his first racing experiences participating in the StFYC Thursday night kite foil racing events off Crissy Field; Edegran, trained with world champion Formula Kite Foiler and fellow club member Daniela Moroz in the early part of their journey to the 2024 Olympic Games. Edegran is thrilled to be on the US Sailing Team representing the US at the Games in the new and highly competitive Formula Kite Foil Class.

Credit: Allison Chenard, US Sailing Team

MS: It’s been a challenging road for you including a serious injury at the Paris Test event last year which put you on the sideline during a pivotal event, how does it feel to have made it through to the Olympics?
ME: The feeling of making the US Olympic Team is definitely still setting in! I’ve been sailing since I was 8 years old and have always recognized the Olympics as the pinnacle of the sport, so it’s amazing to have been able to continue doing what I love and now be a part of Team USA. I am super excited to represent my country and my sport at the highest level of competition and look forward to witnessing like-minded athletes doing the same.

MS: What’s been your biggest hurdle through this journey?
ME: The biggest challenge has probably been living a life on the road and missing having a real place to call home, and along with that has been the sacrifice of time with friends and family.

MS: What was your sailing background prior to kite foiling?
ME: I grew up learning to sail at summer camp in an Optimist on the Hudson River which led to racing competitively at a young age. I can remember racing against Ian Barrows at 10 years old on a rainy day in Newport, RI, and it’s amazing to be heading to the Games together 20 years later! I continued sailing competitively through high school on 420s, FJs, and ILCA classes before sailing 420s and FJs at St. Mary’s College (Class of 2016) but I was always more interested in high performance classes. While in college, I picked up kiteboarding at a very recreational level and loved everything about it.

MS: What high performance classes have you enjoyed sailing?

Credit: Lexi Pline, US Sailing Team

ME: I’ve sailed 49ers, GC32s, Waszps, and M32s. After graduating from St Mary’s, I was selected for the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Team as a bowman on the AC45, which included training on high performance catamarans to prepare for the AC45 in Bermuda. Around this time, I was also involved in the World Match Racing Tour, helming an M32, which was a great opportunity to compete against some of the best sailors in the world. It wasn’t until 2019 when I saw the potential of kite foil racing and decided to give it a go and see if I had what it took to be successful.

MS: Who are your coaches leading up to the Games?
ME: I have been working with Steve Keen for the past year who also was my coach in the 420 back in the day. I am also working with Jonnie Hutchcroft who has been coaching in the kite class for the last 5 years. We are currently in Marseille for the month of June working towards making another step up before the Games.

Credit: Lexi Pline, US Sailing Team

MS: Going into the Games, what do you think is your most important asset?
ME: My diverse sailing background; if the weather gets tricky in Marseille, I hope I can use it to my advantage.

MS: What have you been especially proud of going into this chapter of your life?
ME: Being a part of Kiteboarding’s Olympic debut is super special. We are going to be able to represent a huge community of kiters and foilers who have not had their sport in the Olympics until now. The Formula Kite discipline is also continuing to modernize the sport of sailing, making sailing one of the fastest Summer Olympic sports in the process. It represents the future of water sports and definitely brings some extra excitement for the spectators.



Michelle SladeEdegran Heads to the Olympics; Give This Guy High Performance Anytime!
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Redwood High School Sailors Hold Their Own at National Championship

Redwood High School (RHS) sailors Mark Xu, Akira Bratti, Rhett Krawitt, Henry Vare, and Morgan Headington finished sixth in a fleet of eighteen national high school teams competing in the recent 7th Annual Phebe Corckran King National Memorial Championship invitational regatta. Hosted by the Annapolis Yacht Club and the Severn Sailing Association, the Stony Brook Bears representing The Stony Brook School (NY) took first place.

After a short postponement on Saturday, June 1st, the A Division sailed in FJs, followed by the B Division in C420s. Winds in the morning were light and variable, ranging from 2.5 knots to 4 knots when racing started. Later in the afternoon, winds increased from 6 to 12 knots, and plenty of daylight allowed for twelve races for each division on Saturday. Short races made the starts crucial to stay competitive.

Sunday’s races were on C420s and started early in the morning with Southwest winds of 6-10 knots. Weather was cooler in the low 70s, cloudy with high humidity. After the first set of races the wind took a 90 degree turn to the south bringing a steady breeze of 12 to 15 knots. The sailors finally got a chance to hike and sail fast, having a great time on the Chesapeake Bay. The conditions/venue were tough to stay in a good rhythm.

RHS Sailing Team Coach Dan Brandt traveled with the team to Annapolis and coached from the shore for two days of racing in front of the US Naval Academy. “There were a lot of unknowns and new variables we had to manage, and the team did well with that,” he said. “We had more great moments than not great moments.”

While in Annapolis, the team met with local sailors originally from the Bay Area and also got the chance to tour the Maryland State House and the US Naval Academy. With blue skies and temperatures in the mid-70s, graduating Senior and Team Captain Morgan Headington competed in his final High School Regatta. His teammates will return next year to defend their place in the Nor Cal Championships and hopefully earn another chance for a podium spot at Nationals.

The regatta marked the first time that RHS had competed at the Phebe Corckran King event after winning a spot to compete when they took the NorCal Divisional Championship earlier in the spring. RHS also become the first name on the new Northern League Championship Trophy that was presented at this year’s NorCal Divisional Championship.

Headington’s mom Kerry, is an avid supporter of the Redwood High School sailing team, and junior sailing. She said, “As an educator, I think a key take home from this event is how important it is for the Bay Area high schools and yacht clubs to support high school sailing — both for the kids and for the Bay Area sailing reputation. I am a big supporter of High School Sailing because it builds camaraderie and school spirit for kids, and it is one of the ways to increase diversity in our sport.”

Thanks to Kimball Livingston, St. Francis Sailing Foundation, the Belvedere Cove Foundation, Encinal Sailing Foundation, Richmond Yacht Club Foundation, and the Peninsula Youth Sailing Foundation for their support. – Source: Kerry Headington/Carl Krawitt

Michelle SladeRedwood High School Sailors Hold Their Own at National Championship
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RISE OF THE PHOENIX: Building a board for a Champion

Having a custom board built by good friends and hand-delivered by her dad to her in Marseille is just the most recent display of commitment and support by the community that has been behind Moroz for as long as she has been on her journey to the 2024 Olympic Games. With the start gun for the first-ever Olympic race in Women’s Formula Kite Foil less than eight weeks away, there wasn’t a moment to lose when last month Moroz knew she needed to switch out the boards she was using in favor of a design that promoted a more stable board. She asked her dad to reach out to Kenny Adgate, a Bay Area family friend whose wing foil boards are renowned among the worlds’ best wing foilers, to make her a board. The project became a family affair with Kenny’s wife Judie stepping in to color the board.

Loving her new board, Moroz has her sights set on the 2024 Olympic podium.

“I thought it would be a cool thing to do and we’ve come up with a significantly more stable board for Daniela,” Adgate said. “ A more stable board will offer her a less turbulent feeling and hopefully improved mental confidence as far as going faster – she’ll be feeling less vibration, it’s less input to your body which is sometimes better in certain situations.”

Kenny started making boards after his friend Mike Zajicek, owner of Mike’s Lab and another well-respected designer and manufacturer of foil systems who also resides in the Bay Area began making foils for kite foiling. Back then Zajicek’s foil systems utilized tuttle boxes which few board companies were using so Kenny decided to make a few boards that could use Mike’s foils, referring to them as pocket boards – very small boards – for kiting. When winging developed (Adgate, Johnny Heineken and Zajicek were among other San Francisco Bay kiters and wingers who lead the charge globally on the nascent wingfoil sport some six years ago), Adgate started building wing boards.

“We were using three-fin race boards when we all started winging and decided to make wing boards to go with Mike’s foils – it became more of an addictive hobby more than anything,” Adgate laughed. The time was during Covid, so Adgate had plenty of hours to experiment.

It takes about twenty hours to build a board from beginning to end although technically it is longer because there are a lot of different drying times with epoxy; it takes about twelve hours for the epoxy to cure. But, more than that, in the instance of Moroz’ board, the process was nerve-wracking, Adgate admits with a smile; after all, it will be the board that she races on in her first Olympic Games.

Adgate and Moroz have ridden a lot together, so he had an idea of what she wanted, and Moroz was able to give Adgate a board to base off in terms of what she liked.

The Phoenix underway in the Adgate’s garage.

“We’ve made enough race boards in the past so we have a really good idea of what they should ride like and be shaped like. It did help to have something that she preferred so I could take some measurements off that and make sure that the length and width were really similar so it would feel natural to her when she hopped on it for the first time, and it sounds like it was! Nonetheless, it was more about just not failing for her,” Adgate acknowledged. “I was really stressed out about making her a board which she would really like. There were a lot of WhatsApp messages back and forth trying to get everyone on the same page!”

Adgate got Heineken involved to help with the decking and foil box locations.

“Johnny has so much knowledge with that kind of thing which really helped make sure measurements were correct; the right height of the board is really important for racing,” he said. “There are certain styles of racers who like their front foot higher than the back, or level, so there are all different kinds of angles that each rider prefers so getting that measurement out of her team was important. Thinking through the stability improvement was a challenge as the technique I wanted to use was one that has not been done before but it ended up working out really well.”

Dad heads to Marseille to deliver Phoenix 1 to his champion daughter

Vlad Moroz, Daniela’s dad, has been best friends with Zajicek since they found each other windsurfing at Berkeley Marina after immigrating from the Czech Republic in the mid-80s. Zajicek switched to foil production ten years ago and Moroz has won many of her six World Championship titles using Zajicek’s foils.

“Being involved in this has been especially important to me because she is the daughter of my best friend,” Zajicek said. “I’ve known her since she was a baby, I watched her learn to windsurf – which she had no interest in – but by the time she was ten, kiteboarding did interest her. This board is special because she was able to get exactly what she wanted from Kenny, and yes, we were messaging many times a day while he was building it!”

Adgate added, “It’s awesome to have Mike to call on as far as the construction side goes, like what to reinforce for example, to make sure he thinks it is going to work.”

Mock layout before paint application.

Judie did the color for the board; she suggested a patriotic design incorporating the stars and stripes and colluded with Moroz on design.

“We went back and forth on different design ideas then I got to work on the coloring to get it to as close as I could to what Daniela wanted – thankfully I hit the nail on the head!” Judie smiled. “I used primary colors and sometimes it is challenging using ombre (the art of blending one color hue into another). Daniela wanted to go from a very light blue to a very dark blue on the board. It’s all hand-painted – I mix the colors and when it’s time to apply the epoxy we put the epoxy into the actual paint. It’s very time consuming and you have to be quick – you have about 15 minutes to put it on the board otherwise it turns to gel, and you can’t ombre it – if only you could have heard Kenny and I anxiously trying to get it right!” Judie laughed.

Moroz was thrilled when Kenny agreed to make a board for her, trusting that he would do an amazing job, so it felt like the right decision to try one of his boards, which she has branded the “Phoenix.”

“My gut feeling was really pushing me to try something new with the design that had never been done before and Kenny, taking all of my preferences into account, executed it flawlessly! And then riding it for the first time and seeing it actually worked – it was incredible.”

To have the opportunity to build boards for Daniela at this point in her campaign is pretty special, Adgate acknowledges.

“It’s an honor for sure, it’s so cool, to have her on something that she wanted to ride, and I was able to build it in my backyard! A lot of really talented people ride my boards and it’s an honor every time I see someone on one of my boards.”

And, just this week there is a second Adgate board on its way to Daniela in Marseille (she had to return the boards she was riding to her former board sponsor in June). The second board is designed with different specs to accommodate a different foil set – it’s a completely different board shape in terms of the rocker side of it, Adgate noted. He got all the necessary specs from Moroz, Heineken got involved again on calculations, and board two was delivered to her training partner Evan Heffernan in Santa Barbara just days ago who will fly with it this week when he travels to join Moroz in Marseille.

Moroz’ board crew celebrate the completion of Phoenix 1. Center with board Kenny Adgate, to his left Mike Zajicek, seated in red is Judie Adgate.

“It must have been a difficult and huge decision for her to switch out boards at this stage of the game as the sponsor provides up to three boards a year for free, but in her mind, it was the right decision,” Adgate said. He continued, laughing, “I want to say she’s probably going to call me again to get another one – I’m on board production standby! But anything to help her out, her family and the supporting crew around her. It’s an awesome place to be around here when so many people want to help her so that she has the best opportunity to do her best.”

“My team (Chris and Tucker) also worked with Kenny, Johnny, and Mike on these boards,” Moroz said, adding, “They’re the best in the world with this stuff and to have a board that was designed and made at home in the Bay Area feels really special. It just means the world to me to have all of their support behind me going into the Olympics and I’m really proud to be able to represent the Bay Area in this way.




Michelle SladeRISE OF THE PHOENIX: Building a board for a Champion
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Team DeAtley/StFYC Member Athletes Receive Funding for Olympic Journey

Daniela Moroz Receives Team DeAtley Grant at St Francis Sailing Foundation Annual Auction.

Fundraising was not something Markus Edegran felt comfortable with going into his 2024 Olympic campaign. Edegran, who will represent the US at the Paris Olympics in men’s Formula Kite Foil, had some experience in fundraising through corporate sponsorships but felt uncomfortable raising funds from personal contacts.

Edegran will represent the US in the Men’s Formula Kite Foil.

Ensuring he had the funds to see him through was a constant challenge over and above the general rigor of an Olympic campaign. It was not only a surprise but a welcome gift when he became the recipient of a $25,000 grant from the Team DeAtley fund awarded to StFYC member athletes competing at the Olympics.

“It’s been amazing to have the support from the St. Francis Sailing Foundation from the start of the campaign,” Edegran said. “The DeAtley grant will help me pay off some of the expenses I have accumulated this year as I fought to qualify the country this spring and will also help towards ensuring I am as competitive as possible at the Games.”

A StFYC member and St Francis Sailing Foundation committee member, Beth DeAtley initiated the Team DeAtley fund in honor of her late husband Dick  DeAtley, who was active in the yacht club and was planning to  donate funds to the sailing community before his untimely death in November 2017. The first round of funds was given in 2020 for the Tokyo Games to StFYC member athletes Riley Gibbs, Anna Weis, Luke Muller, Paige Railey and Nikki Barnes who each received $25,000 as StFYC members competing in the Games. More recently, recipients have included Daniela Moroz, Hans Henken and Edegran who have also each received $25,000 for the 2024 Games.

“I wanted to support our Olympics sailors so that they can be free to train without the hindrance of constant fundraising,” DeAtley commented. “It is a lot of fun and I love corresponding with the members of the team, following them as they move along. I have learned a lot through our discussions and have great admiration for the talent, training, and overall determination it takes to be an Olympic sailor. I’m very proud of them.”

Edegran added, “It means a lot to have this level of support coming from a member of the club where I started this journey. I’m super proud to represent StFYC and everyone I have shared the water with off of Crissy Field.”

Moroz with Beth DeAtley at StFSF Annual Auction Fundraiser.

Moroz; 6x Formula Kite Champion, 4x Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, who will represent the USA in the women’s Formula Kite Foil at the 2024 Olympics received her Team DeAtley grant at the Foundation’s annual auction fundraiser event last fall. Moroz echoed her gratitude for DeAtley’s generosity as she shared with event guests the challenge of balancing high-level training with fundraising and running their own operations.

“Beth’s support of the Foundation has made the road to Paris smoother for me and other sailors representing the US at the Games,” Moroz said. “We are so very grateful for her generosity and I am proud to be part of Team DeAtley.”



Michelle SladeTeam DeAtley/StFYC Member Athletes Receive Funding for Olympic Journey
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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:
Stay updated with NYYC American Magic’s Women’s Team on 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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