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Cross Training – From Foiling Board to Foiling Boat

Inspired by her employer SailGP, Daniela Moroz, 4-time World Kite Foil Champion, and 2-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, has been learning the Waszp, a one design foiler conceived in 2010 and put into production in June 2016 by Andrew McDougall, designer of the Mach 2 foiling Moth.

“In order to do any role on SailGP’s F50 well, you have to know what the other roles require of you – the flight controller needs to know what the wing trimmer and helm are trying to do, in order to do his job well,” Moroz explained. “The best way to understand what each role requires is to do all of them. It turns out that the Waszp and Moth are the best boats to get that experience.”

In a recent break from her European touring, Moroz called on StFYC junior sailor Hoel Menard to help her out. Menard, a 29er sailor with plenty of Waszp experience and a RIB at his disposal, was well set up to coach Moroz. That his student is a noted world champion did not faze the 18-year-old.

“From my sailing experience in the Waszp, I felt like I had the experience to train her,” Menard said. “I have spent a lot of time helping StFYC members get up to speed when they got their boats. When you’re teaching someone a new skill, the question is how fast can they get the new skill and figure out how it all works, especially someone who comes from kiting and not necessarily a traditional sailing background.”

Now, the Waszp is not an easy boat to learn by any means, as Molly Carapiet, 5-time All-American sailor at Yale University, and Olympic aspirant in the 470, Europe Dinghy and 49erFX, can attest. Carapiet, a StFYC member and StFSF board member, had wanted to learn how to foil for a few years and the Waszp seemed like the most approachable boat. The pandemic offered up the perfect time to buy one, and a way to get off Zoom and back out on the water.

“Learning to sail the Waszp has been extraordinarily challenging and fun, and it is an amazing and freeing feeling to be flying just above the water,” Carapiet described. “Unfortunately, at this point, that feeling is often short lived and followed by me being flung into the water like a rag doll and swimming back to the boat!”

Moroz’ kite foiling background was a huge plus as she began her week of Waszp training. The first two days Menard focused on teaching Moroz to understand how the balance of the boat works.

“We worked on basic stuff like, when I pull on the mainsheet at this moment, what does that do? If I hike out here, what does the boat do, and so on,” Menard explained.

Day 3 and 4 focused on getting up on the foils and maintaining while trying to go in a straight line in either direction for a while, with the goal to eventually sail upwind and downwind.

“We tried to find similarities between kiting and the Waszp so that Daniela would understand more efficiently,” Menard said. “The Waszp is different to kiting because the boat will self-regulate, so you don’t have to care how high you fly when you fly etc. The foiling is a system on its own, so it is about figuring out when the boat does take off how to keep it balanced with the sail, and then managing your weight. If you are hiking too hard, you will fall to windward and if you are not hiking enough, you will fall to leeward.”

After 2 days of hard weather (17-19 knots from the west and lots of chop) and 4 days of perfect conditions (12-14 knots from the south/southwest and flat water), Moroz could go upwind and downwind on both tacks pretty much and for extended time.

“On the day when we had perfect conditions, she got up and crossed the Richmond Channel – it was a few minute-long flight on her first go which was great,” Menard said. “She picked it up really quickly. Most people, even those with a sailing background, have a hard time at least for the first few hours in the boat.”

“Since I didn’t have any single-handed sailing experience it wasn’t too bad, it was just the perfect amount of challenge for me,” Moroz commented. “All the foiling principles are the same, such as being heeled to windward upwind etc. All I had to do was apply it to a different platform. It’s also a bit slower than kiting which made it easier for me to react/predict what I would need to do in terms of trimming.”

“Hoel was helpful and patient, he understood what sort of background I was coming from, and we always tried to compare the Waszp with kiting,” she said. “The best part was being a complete beginner again and learning more about my own learning process and how I learn.”

It was a win-win for both, as Menard discovered that he really enjoyed coaching and he looks forward to doing more.

“I hadn’t coached a week-long training camp before – I’d done them as a sailor but not as a coach,” Menard said. “It was interesting, and I really liked it. When I first saw her take off and go, that was an awesome moment!”



Michelle SladeCross Training – From Foiling Board to Foiling Boat
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Men’s and Women’s Kiteboarding Confirmed for Paris 2024

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board has approved Men’s and Women’s Kiteboarding (Formula Kite) for the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition, replacing the Mixed Kiteboarding and Mixed Offshore Events that were previously selected by members of World Sailing. Full release from World Sailing.

Daniela Moroz, four-time World Champion and two-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, commented, “I think the whole kiting world is very excited about this announcement. I personally think that this format makes more sense and will allow many more countries to be involved. The relay concept was an interesting idea but it was not very practical. Now, men and women will race in separate events, competing for individual medals. The equipment will remain the same, we’ll still be following the current Formula Kite class regulations and riding high performance foiling gear.”

Moroz said that the announcement doesn’t change much for her in terms of her training routine. She’s been working with a US Kitefoil squad that started training together over the past year, and she expects that the number of training camps will increase and that they will receive more coaching via US Sailing throughout the quad.

“The only thing that has changed is any mixed events that were scheduled for later this year will become individual where men and women race separately, the way it’s always been,” Moroz stated. “Overall I am super excited and can’t wait for more racing!”

Featured image: Daniela Moroz competing – and winning – in Europe last month, with an eye on the 2024 Paris Games.



Michelle SladeMen’s and Women’s Kiteboarding Confirmed for Paris 2024
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Olympians are wired a little differently

In a report for the International Council of Yacht Clubs, Pamela Healy, Olympic medalist (shown above alongside Jennifer Fetter. The pair took bronze at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, in the 470 class) provided an update for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics:

This generation of Olympic athletes have had an unbelievably challenging journey. When I trained and competed as an Olympian, in the Barcelona Games in the 470 in 1992, I focused my training on things within my control and then mentally prepared for those outside of my control. Sailors are particularly talented at doing this.

These athletes, on the other hand, have had to face a barrage of elements outside of their control—namely, a global pandemic that delayed the Games.

As a proud member of the San Francisco Yacht Club and St. Francis Yacht Club and as President of the St. Francis Sailing Foundation I have had the good fortune of supporting several Olympic sailors on this journey, as we provide financial support and mentorship.

We constantly update our donors and members regarding the dedication, ups-and-downs and regatta results of our member-athletes, so they feel like they are sailing alongside them. Collectively, we take pride in supporting our fellow members.

Why should your club engage your membership with your Olympians or members reaching for the Olympic dream? Because Olympians are wired a little differently.

They are relentless, passionate and committed to giving back. They inspire us all to be better. They share a sense of responsibility to bring up the next generation of youth sailors to be the best they can be and to dream big. They are role models, ambassadors and a public relations team all in one.

Their sense of duty to their clubs is as sincere as their dedication to their country, and they take representing their burgee seriously.

As we watch the Olympic Games together this summer, as Member Clubs of ICOYC, let’s collectively admire our sport as it is showcased on the world stage and let’s use it as a rallying point to engage our memberships together.

Finn sailor Caleb Paine wins bronze in Rio

Michelle SladeOlympians are wired a little differently
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In Sailing, Women Are Taking More Than a Seat

NYT May 28, 2021

They have waited years to earn respect, but now they are winning races and skippering and owning boats.

Competitive sailing has long been an old-boys’ club, yet over the past several decades, women have not only been joining the sport, they have also sometimes been taking charge of it. They have become senior executives of sailing organizations and yacht clubs, and skippers and owners of boats.

For the first time, in 2018, a female skipper won an around-the-world race, one of the most grueling events in any sport, and five all-women’s teams have completed the round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race (now called just the Ocean Race). The last American sailor to win an Olympic gold medal was a woman, in 2008, and women have also hoisted the America’s Cup.

Dawn Riley did that in 1992, and she now leads one of the pre-eminent high-performance sailing training centers in the United States. Cory Sertl is president of US Sailing, the national governing body, and vice president of World Sailing, the international governing body. And Lindsey Duda Coe was one of the winners of the Chicago Yacht Club’s 2019 Race to Mackinac on the boat she owns.

Anna Tunnicliffe Tobias of the United States, competing at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, where she won a gold medal.Credit…Clive Mason/Getty Images

“Women athletes have been participating in Olympic sailing since 1988,” Sertl said. “So, there are now more women who have experienced sailing at the highest level, and a number of these women have been drawn into being officials and leaders in the sport.”

Pamela Healy, a bronze medalist at the 1992 Summer Olympics, said having female leaders was vital.

“There was a Harvard Business Review study on boardroom dynamics that showed that corporations are more successful when they have at least three women voting members on their board of directors,” she said. “Women add a diverse perspective that is invaluable to decision making and problem solving.”

In addition to winning countless races, Healy has served on the boards of directors of the St. Francis Yacht Club and the San Francisco Yacht Club and is the president of the St. Francis Sailing Foundation. “I feel respected,” she said. “I don’t feel that I’m a token.”

Still, she sees opportunities for improvement.

“It’s important to see photos of women in blazers on the wall, so women feel represented,” Healy said, referring to yacht-club leadership. “And we need to improve boat ownership. That will equate to true equality.” Read on:

Michelle SladeIn Sailing, Women Are Taking More Than a Seat
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Cayard Takes on New Role & Looks to LA 2028: “Raise the Money, Build the Team, Top the Podium!”

Los Angeles will host the summer Olympics in 2028, and for Paul Cayard, U.S. Sailing’s new hire, that’s a perfect goalpost for the role he’s recently stepped into as Executive Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing, taking the helm of the US Sailing Team inclusive of the U.S. Olympic Sailing program.

Cayard’s an Olympian, he’s been around the sport for a long time, and maybe this role will in some way put the finishing touches on what has been a hugely rewarding and successful career. While he may not be young enough to go to the Olympics anymore, or to race an America’s Cup boat, he has a lifetime of the right experience and he’d like to help others achieve their dreams.

“I feel like I can be successful at this job and as an American sailor, that would be very satisfying,” Cayard explained. “It’s in my wheelhouse – the industry that has been my career – and it’s a challenge that inspires me and has captivated me. The job has been hard to do, there have been various efforts at doing it in the last 10-12 years and we haven’t quite got there. I know we can be successful.”

As Cayard noted, the U.S. is still the most medal-winning nation in Olympic Sailing although over the past 20-30 years the trend line has been down.

“We’ve been at the top of the sailing world – in 1984 in Los Angeles we won three golds and four silvers in 7 events,” Cayard said. “America can be competitive again, but the mission is really much broader than just the Olympics – we need to re-invigorate American sailing. The Olympics is the lightning rod for that.”

What exactly is he hoping to accomplish? The role, as he sees it, is to bring America’s absolute best resources to bear on the U.S. Olympic Sailing program. The desired outcomes of this strategy? To dominate the Olympic podium and create a deep bench of world class sailors, who, in turn, lead the country’s high profile team’s and inspire a nation.

By building excellence across a multi-pillared structure – coaching, technology, elite athleticism, leadership, and organization – that structure becomes the machine responsible for developing a pipeline of talent; the machine will deliver the excellence to the field of play through the coaches and athletes.

“My job is to build that machine that’s in the middle between the pillars of excellence and the field of play,” Cayard explained. “In America we have access to the excellence, but we haven’t succeeded in bringing it to bear on the field of play. It involves understanding where we want to be, where this excellence is in America, and hiring the right people with the right skill set.”

Fundraising will be a significant part of Cayard’s role as the financial element will be key to achieving the result that Cayard wants. It’s no secret that American sailing athletes simply haven’t had the financial resource that other leading sailing nations have had in the past 20 years.

“In the U.S. we still operate in the “bring your own” model,” he said. “With the financial resource we have now we can’t change a lot,” he said. “The team that’s in place is doing a pretty good job with $4 million a year, but there’s just not a lot you can do with that. I need to be that passionate, inspirational person to make a credible pitch to get the additional backing we need.”

A critical element in the pipeline that lives alongside funding is talent and to reset America as a dominant sailing nation, Cayard envisages that the machine will, year in and year out, produce a pipeline of 5-6 teams deep in world-class talent in the ten Olympic classes, so 40 or 50 teams of athletes that are truly skilled not only in sailing but who know how to be dedicated, committed, focused, disciplined – all the personal skills that it takes to be a great athlete.

In 2014, Cayard and the late Bob Billingham envisioned a critical piece of the puzzle; a pipeline of talent. Project Pipeline, which was founded with the support of America One, Cayard’s 2000 America’s Cup campaign, put up $5 million to train America’s most promising 15-19 year olds. In 2017, 2018, and 2019, the U.S. was the lead nation at the Youth World Championship over that period, taking a third, a first and a third.

“Creating the talent pipeline isn’t like a switch that gets flipped on and suddenly a bunch of talent appears,” Cayard reminded. “Fortunately, Project Pipeline is beginning to bear fruit – in just a few months, the oldest alumni of that group, Riley Gibbs (24), will be going to his first Olympics in the Nacra 17. He’ll probably be in his prime in France in 2024, and definitely ready to take Gold in 2028 in Los Angeles.”

Cayard advocates a much broader domestic platform for athlete training. “We’re not going to send our athletes to regattas all over the world when they’re not ready to go,” Cayard determined.

He expects the U.S. Open Series, a new circuit of 6 Olympic Class regattas, developed with West Marine and slated to be held annually, will help develop depth in the pipeline. The series consists of three regattas in Florida in winter and three regattas in summers in San Diego, Long Beach and San Francisco. Additionally, the heavy weather Olympic Development Program will continue to be held in San Francisco.

“San Francisco is still a fantastic training area for any high-level sailing athlete,” Cayard smiles.

Cayard also wants to bring the Olympic Trials back to the U.S. “That was such a formative event,” Cayard said. “I went to the Olympic Trials in ’84 because it was in Long Beach and I could. We didn’t have any money to go to Olympic Trials elsewhere – we just wouldn’t have gone, and (John) Kostecki wouldn’t have gone either.”

Cayard’s acknowledges the support of Bay Area organizations which have been particularly strong supporters of Olympic sailing, in particular America One, and the St Francis Sailing Foundation.

“No other area in the country supports Olympic sailing like the Bay Area,” he noted. “I’ll continue to work with President Pam Healy and the Foundation to support our Olympic athletes and those aspiring to be Olympians. The recent generous Beth DeAtley gift demonstrates the kind of support that has been going on for a long time in the Bay Area.”

Keeping supporters engaged has Cayard’s full attention. He plans to bring supporters closer to game and to bring athletes closer to the supporters.

“I will make myself available to speak to people, spread the world and get people more engaged,” Cayard said. “There are many interesting stories among our sailors, like St. Francis Yacht Club member Nikki Barnes who just won the 470 trials. A lieutenant in the Coast Guard, she and her crew busted their asses to win the recent Trials and finish so well. The last time they raced in the Worlds in 2019 they finished 32nd, and now she finished 7th. Suddenly, this team has an outside medal shot and we thought we were nowhere in the Women’s 470. It’s a hopeful AND interesting story and I think donors would love to hear those kinds of stories.”

Cayard maintains that mentoring is also a big part of athlete support, grateful to those who helped establish his skills and career. He feels fortunate that Tom Blackaller latched onto him all those years ago, asking Cayard to sail with him first in the Star, then in the America’s Cup.

“During the time I was with him, from age 18 to 28, Tom taught me the finer points of racing, strategy and tactics – he was a huge mentor for me. Raul Gardini (Chairman of the syndicate that sponsored the Italian America’s Cup contestant Il Moro di Venezia), was also an important mentor for me too, less in sailing but more in organization, leadership, delegation and how to run a bigger operation.”

“To win we need to garner all forms of support, financial, mentoring, and to focus on organization, technology, elite coaching, high performance athleticism, and our athlete pipeline,” Cayard concluded. “The U.S. is the top nation in all these critical categories. What we haven’t done is bring that excellence to bear on the field of play through our talented athletes. But that is what we will do by 2028 in Los Angeles. Tokyo and Paris are great intermediate milestones for us to measure our progress.”



Michelle SladeCayard Takes on New Role & Looks to LA 2028: “Raise the Money, Build the Team, Top the Podium!”
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Daniela Moroz joins U.S. SailGP Team for SailGP Season 2

4x World Champion Kite Foiler & 2 x Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year “Stoked to Fly”

Daniela Moroz, 4-time Kitefoil World Champion and 2-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, will join the U.S. SailGP Team as they compete in sailing’s premiere international racing championship SailGP for its second season. Moroz, who intends to launch a 2024 Olympic campaign in the new Formula Kite class, will join the eight other participating teams in Bermuda leading up to the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess kicking off April 24-25.

From the San Francisco Bay Area, Moroz, 20, is one of two women (the other is Hawaii-based CJ Perez) selected by the U.S. SailGP Team to join the roster this year.

“We were overwhelmed by the quality of athletes who applied, and our entire sailing team took part in the selection process,” said Jimmy Spithill, U.S. SailGP Team Helmsman. “Daniela brings to our team an impressive amount of foiling ability which is paramount to racing at this level. We’re excited to welcome her to the roster and develop her talent further.”

New to SailGP, in Bermuda Moroz will learn as much as possible about SailGP’s racing platform – the F50 foiling catamaran – as part of a new athlete development program aimed at introducing her to the technical and athletic skills needed to operate the high-performance boat.

Moroz, a junior at the University of Hawaii, is thrilled to join the team, and has made the most of the short time since being selected to prepare for Bermuda. 

“I took a much-needed break from kitefoiling last year which really reignited the spark,” Moroz, considered one of the world’s most talented kite foilers, commented. “I’m now back in a consistent training regime, whether it be alone or with the US Sailing Team in various locations, and have been able to further focus my own foiling skills plus stay in great shape. I’ve been putting in time with sailors like Riley Gibbs (member US Olympic Sailing Team/Nacra 17, and Team United States SailGP wing trimmer in season 1), who has been a huge help in sharing audio and video training content and technical information on (boat) controls which I’ll be studying going into Bermuda.”

Charlie McKee who coached Moroz this past winter in Florida, noted, “This is a fantastic opportunity for Daniela! She is an elite athlete who performs at the very top of her sport. Her relentless quest for improvement makes her a great fit for SailGP. Her already impressive campaigning skills will be enhanced even further, and the rigorous performance quest and off the water analysis will raise the bar even further. She is already a proven winner on the international stage of high-performance sailing, and both SailGP and Daniela will benefit from her becoming part of this team.”

Noting that SailGP and its goals align with her personal brand, Moroz looks forward to working in a professional environment at what is essentially the highest level of the sport will be an invaluable learning opportunity. 

“It was one I couldn’t pass up,” Moroz stated. “I’ll be able to apply this learning to my Olympic campaign and so much more down the road. I’m excited to support the team as best I can and be the best teammate I can be. Hopefully, this will give us a chance to turn around American sailing and show the world what we’re capable of!”


Moroz joins new teammates for SailGP season 2

Growing up in San Francisco in an avid water-sports family, Daniela started kitesurfing at the age of 12. Two  years later she competed in her first race and since then has been literally unstoppable. In the past six years, she has won every major international hydrofoil event, as well as the prestigious Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year in 2016 and 2019. When she’s not on the water, she’s working on a degree in International Business and Marketing at the University of Hawaii. Info/contact: 

SailGP is an international sailing competition using high performance F50 foiling catamarans. Teams compete across a season of multiple grands prix around the world, with the first season being held in 2019.


Michelle SladeDaniela Moroz joins U.S. SailGP Team for SailGP Season 2
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A Sigh of Relief to Qualify + Gratitude for the Opportunity to Compete = Stoked Sailors

“I felt pure focus, I knew exactly what I had to do in terms of performance, so it was a matter of executing all of the small things that string together at the right time from the race start to finish,” Lara Dallman-Weiss commented, recalling her feelings at the outset of the race that really counted, the final race of the 2021 World Championship and the qualifier that would secure them a place on the US Sailing Team headed to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The Olympic Trials for Nikki Barnes and Dallman-Weiss / Perfect Vision Sailing were a combined total of three regattas, with the 2021 Worlds they just completed being the final qualifier. Prior to the 2021 Worlds they were behind the two other teams vying for the sole spot on the US team: Nora and Atlantic Brugman, and Emily and Carmen Cowles. They were three points behind the Brugmans and two points behind the Cowles. Barnes and Dallman-Weiss had to beat each of these teams by the number of places they were behind them to qualify.

The defining moment for Barnes and Dallman-Weiss was before the start of the final race of the World Championships. They had two races that day and in the first race defended hard, starting low in the box to be prepared for the other girls to either send us over the line early or anything to get them disqualified – “Normal starting tactics – anything to attack,” Barnes noted. But the Cowles sailed well, finishing 5th and Barnes and Dallman-Weiss finished 18th.

“We were a bit angry with how we did,” Barnes commented. “Going into the last race, we told ourselves that we were just going to do it. We decided to sail how we knew best to sail and make it a great last race. Either way it was the last race of a World Championship where women’s and men’s 470 would be separate.” *1

They started the race well, rounding the top mark in 10th, with the Cowles a couple of places in front. They saw pressure on the inside and stayed close with that top group until the pressure was close then jibed. The pair enjoyed some great boat handling and at the bottom mark rounded in 6th. On the second upwind they were able to play the same pressure they saw coming down to pass two or three more boats and rounded in third at the top mark with Germany 20 on their heels.

“We had to beat Germany 20 otherwise they would beat us in the overall results,” Barnes said. “We’d still be in the medal race, but it would give us that position closer to the Cowles. On the entire downwind leg, we were keeping an eye on them. It was a very physical race, really exhausting and got lighter at the end but we still had free pumping *2. We just kept pumping and sweating away, Germany 20 would come close, then we would advance…We got to the reach mark, we jibed through, but Germany 20 was still near us. We were just defending them at the end. Finally, we crossed the line.”

Finishing was surreal, Barnes acknowledged. She felt an enormous sadness as soon as she crossed the line that the regatta was over and that they had no more races other than the medal race.

“I bawled my eyes out and dry heaved in the back of the boat while Lara just smiled,” Barnes recalled, able to laugh now. “We didn’t know until later that day when all the protests were in that we got the qualification.”

“I felt a great sense of pride, we had just sailed a physical and smart race and we didn’t hold back, we did what we trained to do!” Dallman Weiss said. “I had a moment thinking we didn’t know if we would qualify but then quickly decided it was no longer in our control so we would have to wait for results. I really wanted to allow myself to feel good about the regatta we just sailed and the year we had just spent training regardless of the Trials outcome.”

As points prevailed, even if the pair finished top 10 in the medal race or a 10th /last place in the medal race, they would still qualify.

Now home and training in Miami, the pair have been both working on their mental game with their respective sports performance and psychologist coaches. The emotional toll has been high these past months, with lots of nights tossing and turning, and mind-reviewing maneuvers.

“The week before the regatta Lara was very nervous so she was leaning on me a bit,” Barnes acknowledged. “When we went into the regatta, she was calm and steady, and I was leaning on her more. I was not sleeping, instead I just kept re-playing the start line. I would try to bring myself to a happier place, which for me is Disney World (laughs) but I would always end up at that darn starting line! I threw up from nerves on the first day which I have never done before.”

The pair know that their job is a long way from over, recognizing that they still have learning to do from big mistakes they made in the regattas, so they will keep pushing on the water…and off.

“When I wake up, I have a specific 15-minute meditation I do to set my intention for the day/week/month and regulate my breathing,” Dallman-Weiss noted. “This helps me focus for the day and not get caught thinking about the past or the future!”

With all the training that the Barnes and Dallman-Weiss have been able to do this past fall and winter, they’ve a good idea of what they are up against come show time in Tokyo.

“What’s cool is that we’ve been training with all of these girls – in Northern Spain and the Canary Islands this past fall so we got used to seeing them on a starting line.” Barnes said. “It’s been amazing to know these people – we’re not looking at Hannah Mills thinking, ‘that’s Hannah Mills, wow, and she has a gold medal’. We chatted with her a good amount in the Canary Islands. We are not defending anymore. The Trials made me so nervous because we had to defend getting that position but now everybody is on the same chopping block for the Games.”

*1. The 470 will run mixed crews in the future.
* 2. Free pumping is a class rule that allows the use of free pumping or kinetics (to increase speed) in 8 knots+ as designated by display of the O flag.


Michelle SladeA Sigh of Relief to Qualify + Gratitude for the Opportunity to Compete = Stoked Sailors
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Alameda Community Sailing Center Aims to Keep Sailors Active

Heading into its 8th year, the Alameda Community Sailing Center (ACSC) is a hidden jewel on the water, located on the west side of Alameda on a site that’s about an acre. While the center offers multiple and varied programs, summer sailing camps for kids between ages 8-16 have been its primary focus. Attendees comprise mainly local kids including under-served kids via a scholarship fund (to which St Francis Sailing Foundation contributes).

In 2019, some 350 kids sailed through ACSC’s spring, summer and fall camps catering to 40 to 60 kids on the water per session, doubled up in doublehanded boats. Camps continued in 2020, shifting to a 3-week course rather than the typical 2-week due to Covid requirements. A challenging 2020 gave ACSC the opportunity to further develop its after-school program which the center was able to carry into last fall.

“Parents were like, “Just take my kid out of the house please!” Mike Bishop, center director, laughed. “The last group of after-schoolers was by all accounts a little bit rowdy between house-fever and Zoom-exhaustion!”

In 2020, ASCS has sailed year-round for the first time – through the winter and on Thursday nights which shifted to Sunday afternoons. Outside of camp attendees, an older generation of Laser sailors enjoy the facility, and a San Francisco-based high school store and sail their boats from the site.

“We’re trying to square the pyramid by not necessarily driving people into performance sailing but rather to keep them in sailing in general,” Mike Bishop, center director, explained. “We want to get people to love sailing, refill our sport with people, fill our yacht clubs, have people buy boats and keep things ticking over.”

Bishop, a life-long Laser sailor and founding board member of ACSC, started sailing in Thailand at age 7, and has sailed all over the world, mainly dinghies but also everything from windsurfers to 50-foot+ sailboats. He sails with kids young as 7, and adults as old as 77, citing that there are not many sports that can span 70 years of a life, and appreciating how the sport teaches about so many aspects of life.

“Sailing broadens one’s horizons mentally and physically through the sciences – physics and math, the environment – stewardship and the natural world, and the comradeship of fellow mankind,” Bishop said. “I know that sounds corny, but I really enjoy educating people about sailing and getting them fully engaged. I frankly cannot believe it’s not a required curriculum in schools for all it teaches!”

Bishop believes that the most challenging part of sailing, particularly in the Bay Area, is access to good boats – and easy access to the Bay – both of which ACSC offers.

“The cost of ownership of sailing in the Bay Area is tough for anyone starting out, or young adults with family, and a big part of our mission at ACSC is to create an accessible program with good modern boats that can be used by the community,” he said.

ACSC has a fleet of some 70 sailboats including 40 Optis, a fleet of FJs, and as a Siebel Training Center, it currently has six RS Fevas. That program started last year and by the end of the summer kids were flying kites singlehanded in those boats, Bishop noted. One of Bishop’s measures of the center’s success is how many kids come back each year. Of its 9 core instructors working this past season, 7 had come through the ACSC system.

“When we started out, our bottleneck was finding instructors – now we’re growing our own,” Bishop smiled.

Emily Zagoni, the only full-time employee at ACSC, grew up in Alameda and learned the ropes through the ACSC system, starting as an instructor, then instructor-lead, then part-time program director and now she’s in her third year as a program director. The 33-year-old is an avid sailor, she owns a Tartan 30 and participates in three different summer evening series along with fun racing like Three Bridge Fiasco. She’s also a keelboat instructor at Club Nautique in Alameda and Sausalito.

“I fell in love with the ACSC program and with small boats,” Zagoni commented. “I intended it just to be a summer job but then I just kept coming back summer after summer,” Zagoni said. When she’s not sailing, Zagoni is learning to fly…

ACSC wants to develop life-long sailors, and a keystone program that the center launched a few years ago – Open Sails on Saturdays – provides an opportunity for people to get access to a boat for half or a full day for just $10-$15.  The center is beginning to promote other opportunities for young adults to get on the water through windsurfing, kiteboarding, kayaking, and SUP’ing. The center’s family programming facilitates families to get out on the water together – Bishop loves to relate the responses from parents.

“They tell us, “My child is a different child, they are responsible, they talk about sailing and I don’t know what they ‘re talking about so I need to learn how to sail!”

ACSC has plenty of exciting things going on even with Covid restrictions. With its astro turf boat yard, warm weather-protected lagoon, a fun beach, and great dinghy sailing conditions for beginners to experts outside the breakwater, it’s an all-round user-friendly Bay sailing destination.


Michelle SladeAlameda Community Sailing Center Aims to Keep Sailors Active
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Count Down for Team DeAtley With Tokyo Olympics Just Around the Corner

Beth DeAtley, Foundation Advisory Board member and StFYC member, recently gave members of the StFYC family, also athletes on the 2020 Olympic sailing, a generous donation to support them through the final phase of their 2020 Olympic campaign. Her timing couldn’t have been better given the circumstances of the past year which burdened the sailors with an additional year to fund.

“My desire is to support our Olympics sailors so that they can be free to train without the hindrance of constant fundraising,” Beth said. “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.”

Team DeAtley comprises Luke Muller (Finn), Paige Railey (Laser Radial) and Riley Gibbs/Anna Weiss (Nacra 17), who will sail with the Team DeAtley logo on their sails or hulls.

What this means for each of our Olympic sailors:

Luke Muller: It was an honor to be named a part of Team DeAtley alongside Gibbs-Weiss Racing and Paige Railey. The grant allowed me to focus all of my energy towards my sailing rather than fundraising. This fall, I gained 5lbs of muscle mass and improved my ability to keep my heart rate calm in strenuous hiking positions. The yield of this newfound strength allows me to focus my attention on my sail trim and driving technique to make the boat go as fast as possible.

As unfortunate as it is that we have not been able to compete in major international events, this year has been an amazing opportunity for me and my team to polish our game. We’ve had extra time to test odd ideas and improve the systems on our boats, which has proved to be eye-opening, including a training block in Lanzarote, Spain of 3-4 weeks where we continued to grow and develop. The professionalism and attention to detail of my campaign has drastically improved and I cannot wait to see what I can do come competition time.

Paige Railey: This grant means the world to me! It has allowed me to pay for the coming years competitions and enabled me to focus solely on training. This is one of the stressful aspects about being a professional athlete is making sure you have enough funds to pay for the year. Beth has ensured that I am able to focus more on my goals. I was having health issues up until March of 2020, so the delay due to the pandemic has enabled me to focus on improving my health back to a professional athlete – I always try to look for the silver lining in things! I was recently able to compete in the US West Marine Open Series in Clearwater, Florida, and these events have been a godsend because it has allowed us to check in with fellow athletes on our fitness and improvements.

.Anna Weiss/Riley Gibbs: We are so grateful to be a part of Team DeAtley. This grant means so much to us because it has allowed us to purchase Olympic sails and learn about what we are looking for in different equipment. We ordered new spinnakers with draft stripes, which have helped me learn about trimming downwind in a different and productive way.

This grant has allowed us to focus on our learning and has taken away some of the stress from the past year. Because we are a relatively new team, this extra year has been extremely helpful in that we were able to really take a step back and focus on the basics. While this postponement hasn’t always been easy, we have been trying to focus on the things we can control. Although we haven’t been able to race internationally, we are trusting the work that we are putting in back home.

In mid February, we raced in the Youth Foiling World Cup in Gaeta, Italy and were very excited for this experience and to learn as much as we can. After, we hope to be sailing the Nacra in Europe, however we might need to change our plans due to Covid. We couldn’t be more excited to be a part of Team DeAtley, and we are honored to represent St. Francis YC all around the world.

Michelle SladeCount Down for Team DeAtley With Tokyo Olympics Just Around the Corner
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Youth Sailors Capitalize On A Challenging Year While Preparing For Better Sailing Days Ahead

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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