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Olympic Fever: World Cup Miami Heats Up with StFSF Sailors in the Hunt

The 2020 Hempel World Cup is currently unfurling in Miami and the results will help decide which American sailors earn an Olympic berth to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this summer. The World Cup is the second of three trial events for the Men’s and Women’s 470 class, Men’s and Women’s RS:X class and the Finn class. It is also the USA’s country qualifier for the Women’s 470 class, where competition is tight between the top three U.S teams.

St. Francis Sailing Foundation sailors in the hunt are:

  • Atlantic and Nora Brugman, Women’s 470
  • Nikole Barnes and Lara Dallman-Weiss, Women’s 470
  • Luke Muller, Finn class
  • Caleb Paine, Finn class
Paine and Muller are in close contention for the lone Finn spot on Team USA. With six races to go before Saturday’s medal round, Paine is in 1st with 5 points and Muller is in 2nd with 12 points.

In the Women’s 470 class, the Brugman sisters are in 11th and Barnes/Dallman-Weiss are in 13th. StFSF sailor Erika Reineke in the Laser Radial, the Hempel World Cup is not part of the U.S. Laser Radial trials, but it is a great warm-up to the Laser Radial Worlds (Feb 21–28) which counts toward the U.S. Laser Radial Trials. Reineke is currently in 1st place in Miami, 11 points ahead of 2nd.

Foundation President and sailing Olympic medalist Pam Healy stated, “On behalf of the St. Francis Sailing Foundation I would like to wish all of our grantees the best of luck in the Miami World Cup. Your dedication and hard work over the past several years is an inspiration to us all. Good luck and sail fast!”
Michelle SladeOlympic Fever: World Cup Miami Heats Up with StFSF Sailors in the Hunt
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Successful Opening Day for Foundation Grantees at 2019 49ER, 49ERFX AND NACRA 17 WORLDS

Racing in the 2019 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 Worlds is underway in Auckland, New Zealand, an important event for nations that haven’t qualified yet for Japan 2020, and/or for nations that are using the Worlds to determine who represents them. The USA has qualified in the FX and Nacra but not 49er, and the country is using the 2019 and 2020 Worlds to determine who represents the country in those classes.

Today’s results from Auckland are encouraging for US sailors. After four races in the 49erFX and Nacra classes, Paris Henken (Coronado, Calif.) and Anna Tobias – both Foundation grantees in previous Olympic campaigns – are leading the 49erFX fleet. Riley Gibbs (Long Beach, Calif., current Foundation grantee) and Anna Weis (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) are in third in the Nacra 17 fleet.

In the 49erFX class, Olympic sailing veterans, Henken and Tobias, had an incredibly consistent day at the top. While they were campaigning part-time early in the quad, they have a lot of experience under their belt. Henken represented Team USA at the Rio 2016 Games in the 49erFX and Tobias (formerly Tunnicliffe) is the Beijing 2008 Gold Medalist in the Laser Radial. Now that they have been full-time campaigning for over a year, it’s clear the hard work is paying off.

The pair finished two races in first and the final race of the day in fifth. Henken attributes their successful day one on the water to keeping it simple, “We executed the starts really well and had some incredible boat speed which we have been working on all month, here in New Zealand.” She continued, “Our priorities were to minimize maneuvers and just keep the boat going fast.”

It seems keeping it simple is the name of the game in New Zealand. Though Nacra sailors, Gibbs and Weis didn’t have any cake incentives on the water, the pair also had a consistent day at the top with three finishes in the top three and all scores within the top five.

“We kept it pretty simple today,” said Gibbs. “We tried to keep our bows clear of any traffic. Making high-percentage moves around the racecourse gave us the ability to sail in more clear air than our competitors. We seem to have decent speed and when we’re sailing in a good lane, going the right direction, we’re definitely not slow.”

While Gibbs and Weis felt some of their decisions were little conservative, they are pleased with their first day on the water. “As they say, you can’t win the regatta on the first day, but you can definitely lose it,” said Gibbs. Read full story:


Michelle SladeSuccessful Opening Day for Foundation Grantees at 2019 49ER, 49ERFX AND NACRA 17 WORLDS
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FAST on the Bay

Malcom Page, Chief of US Sailing, reported that June was a busy month for the US Sailing Team in the Bay Area with Finn, Laser Full Rig, Laser Radial and 49erFX training taking place on the Bay as competitors in the Pan American Games Classes put their final touches on preparation for their World Championships or the Regional Games.

“People generally know the Bay Area for it’s strong sea-breezes, but just like most venues, we have found the weather not to be exactly true to this reputation,” Page said. “With heat waves, late arrivals of winds, and a good variety of conditions have made the camps a great skill building opportunity. Many of the coaches have commented how great and hard sailing is in the Bay, which in turn skills the athlete a little more than another venue.”

FAST USA has set up in a temporary facility at Treasure Island Sailing Center – slowly but surely Page and his team are bringing the FAST concept to life.

“It’s great to see the FAST USA center of excellence dream take some more steps forward,” Page enthused. “This concept will become the envy of the world and will allow a place for top medal winning athletes to mingle with beginner learn to sail and everyone in between. Thank you for your support and Go Team USA!”

FAST as reported by Kimball Livingston

Michelle SladeFAST on the Bay
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Jack Sutter & Charlotte Versavel Podium at 2019 US Youth Sailing Championships

Congratulations to Jack Sutter and Charlotte Versavel who sailed their way to second place in the Nacra 15 at the recent US Youth Sailing Championship! The regatta was raced on Little Egg Harbor, Beach Haven, NJ. Sutter and Versavel finished with 30 pts overall, following Ben Rosenberg & Sidney Charbonnett who took first with 18 pts.

Story at:

Michelle SladeJack Sutter & Charlotte Versavel Podium at 2019 US Youth Sailing Championships
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Sharing Their Passion: SailGP teammates inspire TISC youth sailors

If he was giving advice to his younger self, Foundation grantee Riley Gibbs would tell that younger self, “Sail as much as you can and sail as many classes as you can – it really helps you to gain knowledge in every aspect of the sport, sail different boats and sail as with as many people as you can. Be a sponge and bring it into the rest of your sailing.”

Gibbs and Hans Henken, teammates on the US SailGP Team are in San Francisco this week racing in the 2nd event of the new SailGP series. The pair are also teammates on the US Sailing Team: Gibbs is campaigning the Nacra 17, and Henken the 49er, for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. But the boat that they race on as part of the SailGP Team – the F50 – brings new meaning to the phrase, “Go big or go home”.

The F50 foiling catamaran is considered one of the fastest sailing vessels in the world, powered by a 78-foot wingsail and flying above the water on hydrofoils, it is one mean flying machine. But speed is what turns it on for these young elite sailors.

Speaking to a group of kids at the Treasure Island Sailing Center (TISC) this past weekend, Gibbs, a wingtrimmer on the F50, and Henken a flight controller, concurred that even as young kids, going fast is what they always wanted to do.

“I was always intrigued by speed and while I started sailing in Sabots, I couldn’t wait to sail a 420 and then the 29er, after that came 505s, 18-ft skiffs, kite foiling – now I’m doing an Olympic campaign and sailing 50’ foiling catamarans. I have always been really driven by speed,” Gibbs said.

The kids wanted to know what boats the two rock star sailors liked to sail and where they liked to sail –

“San Francisco Bay!” –  Gibbs and Henken unanimously agreed.

The TISC kids also wanted to know where and when Riley and Gibbs started sailing, and were pretty impressed when both replied that they were sailing by age 5 – Gibbs at the Alamitos Yacht Club in Long Beach, Calif., and Henken at a community sailing program like TISC in Dana Point, Calif.

“When I first got into sailing it was all about the ability to sail my own boat – as a small kid it was so cool to be able to do that, actually control my own craft,” Henken explained. “That’s where I developed my love for sailing.”

Gibbs sketched a F50 on the chalkboard, which drew some wide eyes when the guys explained that these super-fast cats fly above the water at speeds of 25-33 knots upwind and 38-40 knots downwind – quite a bit faster than an Opti!

“The first time I set foot in the F50 was fantastic,” Henken said. “They are incredibly fast – and incredibly loud! When you get up on the foils there’s a high-pitched whistling sound – it’s a lot of adrenalin for sure. The fastest that we have gone is about 47 knots – that’s like going down the freeway in your car with your head out the window – it’s really loud!”

But at the end of the day, what both these elite sailors love about sailing is getting back on the water each day, improving some over the previous day, and mostly having fun.

“There are many ways to see progress in our sport and its often results-based, but for me it’s more about just having fun in the water and the joy that develops going from one sailing class to another,” Henken commented.

And, hopefully it’s a message that will stick with the young TISC sailors for a long time.

Michelle SladeSharing Their Passion: SailGP teammates inspire TISC youth sailors
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Foundation Cheering for Nicole Breault & Crew Racing Nations Cup!

Racing is underway at the 2019 World Sailing Nations Cup Grand Final hosted by the St Francis Yacht Club. Nicole Breault and her crew Molly Carapiet (both Foundation grantees), Karen Loutzenheiser and Hannah Burroughs went into Day 2 in first position out of ten international women’s teams competing. Breault and crew won the event in 2015 (the event is held every 3 years), so going into this event she knew they’d be in for a battle.

“We competed in the semifinals in 2015 against Juju Senft (Brazil), and we faced Pauline Courtois (France) in the finals to win,” Nicole commented. “We have also raced against Team Anna, notoriously strong from Sweden, and have yet to defeat her. We took Allie Blecher and her Team BAAM in the 2018 U.S. Women’s Match Race Championship, but they will also be tough for sure. This is a very strong field of competitors, and 10 teams deep!”

Molly added, “Many of the women competing this week have been doing a lot of match racing in the WIM series and in their regions. Moreover, San Francisco in April can bring a variety of challenging conditions that will test all of the teams. I think there are multiple teams that could win this event.”

Nicole, Karen, Hannah and Molly have been sailing together for over five years and have a deep respect for each other’s sailing abilities. “Nicole and I take a truly collaborative approach to decisions and talk through everything whenever possible,” Molly said. “We are always finding a way to laugh on the water, too!”

Molly and Nicole have known each other a long time. They both sailed for Yale on the co-ed team and as Nicole explains, they have developed a lot of common characteristics in how they each approach the game. “There’s more than 10 years between us in age but having sailed together a lot, we have a clear picture of what is going on in our heads at any given time. She finished my sentences!”

The Nations Cup is a culmination of an international qualifying system that has brought together nine Open teams and ten Women’s teams for this World Sailing match racing championship. Racing began Wednesday with a single round robin series which is the first stage in narrowing the field.


Michelle SladeFoundation Cheering for Nicole Breault & Crew Racing Nations Cup!
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Erika Reineke Podiums at Trofeo Sofia

St Francis Sailing Foundation congratulates grantee Erika Reineke on a podium finish at the recent 50th Trofeo S.A.R Princesa Sofia Iberostar Regatta (Trofeo Sofia) in Mallorca, Spain, taking third in the Laser Radial. Congratulations also to Foundation grantee Paige Railey who also appeared in medal races at the event, finishing 6th in the Laser Radial, and qualifying to compete at the 2019 Olympic Test Event.

For U.S. sailors, the Trofeo Sofia was the second of two selection events for the 2019 Olympic Test Event which will be held at the Olympic venue, The Enoshima Yacht Harbour, August 17-22. Selection is aggregated over results from Trofeo Sofia and the 2019 Hempel World Cup Series Miami. – Full story:

Sailing in the Laser Radial, Reineke has been selected to the 2019 U.S. Pan American Games Sailing Team Roster. The Pan American Games (Pan Am Games) take place every four years, in the year preceding the Olympic Games. The Pan Am Games is the third-largest multi-sport event in the world behind the Summer and Winter Olympics. The 2019 Pan Am Games will take place in Lima, Peru on July 26-August 11, with the sailing events taking place August 3-10 in Paracas, Peru. – Full story:



Michelle SladeErika Reineke Podiums at Trofeo Sofia
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Outstanding Coach Lineup Preps Young Nacra Sailors

There’s nothing like being coached by the best, as StFYC junior sailor Charlotte Versavel can attest. On March 16-17, Versavel and other junior sailors attended the StFYC Nacra Clinic in almost-perfect early spring San Francisco conditions – warm days with blue skies and light breeze.

Four Nacras were on the water with coaching from Charlie Ogletree, Helena Scutt, Bryan Payne, Mike Martin and Craig Healy. Long delays waiting for wind extended into marathon chalk talks but enough time on the water to justify the exercise, reported Kimball Livingston, StFYC Junior Chair.

The clinic included two full days of training on the cityfront with coaches, guest speakers, and daily video debriefs.

“The Foundation supports many clinics including this one,” Versavel said. “These clinics are an incredible opportunity for us as sailors because we get the chance to be coached by incredible coaches. Jack (Sutter) and I learned so much – we feel as prepared as we can be going into Midwinters west.”

Michelle SladeOutstanding Coach Lineup Preps Young Nacra Sailors
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StFYC Juniors Ace Nacra 15 Midwinters East

By Kimball Livingston

Congratulations to Jack Sutter and Charlotte Versavel who took first place in the Nacra 15 Midwinters East (hosted by Southern Yacht Club, New Orleans, LA). The regatta is also the first installment of the youth worlds qualifier that will be hosted by StFYC in March in conjunction with the Spring Dinghy Regatta.

It’s been a journey. Jack and Charlotte have worked assiduously, believed earnestly, and never wavered from their commitments as team mates while growing through their middle-teen years (!). These are young people we are proud to claim as our own, even as we share them with our friends at Richmond Yacht Club. Coach Adam Corpuz-Lahn has been with them every step of the way, through regattas, clinics, broken parts and minor meltdowns, and by way of his involvement is now the Nacra 15 class president.

Kudos also to Pam Healy for her on-the-water coaching, life coaching, national-level politicking and relentless inspiration.

It was a one-point win. This is a time to celebrate, but not to rest. JJ Smith and Will Murray came on strong. They were unknowns to most of us, but a very little bit of online searching led me to say to myself, Self, I reckon if you’d been paying attention to youth sailing in Florida, you’d have known these names. I won’t need a manicure for a month . . .



Michelle SladeStFYC Juniors Ace Nacra 15 Midwinters East
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