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Zach Railey

Zach Railey

Two-time Olympian Zach Railey is a well-known U.S. sailor who won a silver medal in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in the Finn class.

A three-time US Sailing Sportsman of the Year winner and captain of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team, Railey is an accomplished businessman, in addition to his sailing.

A native of Clearwater, Florida, Zach got started sailing on an Optimist dinghy at the age of 8 when his family dentist suggested he take sailing classes.  He qualified for his first World Championship at age 10, and competed in his first International regatta the next year:  1995 Optimist South American Championship in Chile. The rest is history–with more that is yet to be written.

In his words, “Even though only one of us will be selected for the spot at the 2016 Olympics, we all want to be as good as possible so that we can win a medal in 2016. That, in the end, is the goal for the country and to make sure that the USA stays on the top of the medal count in Rio 2016.”

Achievements

2012 US Olympic Team – Sailing (Named Team Captain)
2010, 2009, 2008 US SAILING Sportsman of the Year
2008 Olympic Silver Medalist, Finn
2008 St Francis Yacht Club’s Yachtsman of the Year
2008 Clearwater Yacht Club’s Yachtsman of the Year
2008 Recipient of Key to the City, Clearwater FL

Links

The FoundationZach Railey
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Johnny Heineken

Johnny Heineken

I grew up on and around the water. My dad, Paul Heineken, is a windsurfer and sailor, and from a young age I began to follow in his footsteps. When I was 13, he and I began racing a 29er skiff together. In 2005, when I was 16 years old, Matt Noble and I finished 3rd in the 29er World Championship held at the StFYC. Matt and I then moved on to the next level high-performance skiff, the Olympic Class 49er. With the help of the Foundation, we competed in World Championships in Portugal and Australia, as well as the 2007-2008 US Olympic Trials, in which we finished fifth. After that intensive year, it became clear that world level sailing in an Olympic Class and being a full time UCSB mechanical engineering student were incompatible, so I took a hiatus from 49er sailing, while I continued to captain the UCSB sailing team. In 2008, UCSB captured the Pacific Coast College Championship and I received All-PCC Team honors. But racing high-performance sailboats has always been a major part of my life, so once I was introduced to kiteboard course racing, I was hooked. Since then I have had continued success, winning the World Championship in 2011 and 2012, and finishing second out of 111 competitors in 2013. I have been honored with the 2012 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award, and have been a finalist for the 2013 Rolex World Sailor of the Year award.

The most sailing fun I’ve had this past year is learning how to ride a foil kiteboard. The StFYC sponsored the first ever North American Kite Foilboard regatta this fall on the Bay, which I won. My training video has received quite a bit of attention.

In real life, I now work full-time as an engineer with Makani Power, a high-tech startup that was recently purchased by GoogleX. Makani is developing autonomous tethered flying vehicles (kites) to generate electric power. In addition, I work with Chip Wasson and Mike Zajicek on kite board development. Thanks to the St Francis Sailing Foundation, I’ve been able to participate in a number of international events.  The Foundation has been crucial in helping me accomplish my sailing goals. I am very grateful.

Achievements

1st Course Racing World Championships 2012 – Cagliari, Italy
1st Ronstan Bridge to Bridge Race 2012 – San Francisco, CA            (Course Record time of 14:14)
1st Canadian National Championships 2012 – Squamish, BC
1st North American Championships 2012 – San Francisco, CA
3rd PKRA Germany 2012 – St. Peter Ording, Germany
1st PKRA Turkey 2012 – Burc Beach, Turkey
3rd PKRA France 2012 – Hyeres, France
1st PKRA Mexico 2012 – Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
1st Regatta Copa Mexico 2012 – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Lord of the Wind Showdown 2012 – Los Barriles, Mexico
1st Course Racing and ”The Showdown” Long Distance Race
2nd Slalom
1st La Ventana Classic 2012  “The Crossing”- La Ventana, Mexico
2nd La Ventana Classic 2012  Course Racing- La Ventana, Mexico
1st La Ventana Slalom Race Series- La Ventana, Mexico
1st of 62, 2011 Course Racing World Championships – Sylt, Germany
1st 2011 PKRA Germany – St. Peter Ording,Germany
1st 2011 North American Championships – San Juan, Puerto Rico
1st Canadian National Championships- Squamish, BC                  (Open Division)
1st PKRA Mexico 2011-Playa del Carmen
1st La Ventana Classic 2011-“The Crossing”
1st Lord of the Wind 2011- Los Barriles, Baja
1st 2010 PKRA World Cup Racing -Bariloche, Argentina
4th 2010 World Championships -Corpus Christi, TX
6th 2010 North American Championships-Puerto Vallarta
3rd 2009 World Championships-San Francisco

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The FoundationJohnny Heineken
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Erika Heineken

Erika Heineken

I come from a family that loves sailing, and have been lucky to be part of the St. Francis Yacht Club community my entire life.  I spent summers at Tinsley learning to sail and windsurf, and although sometimes tears were involved, I came around and have fallen in love with water sports.  I jumped into a 29er with my dad, Paul Heineken, and in 2006 together we won the Woman Skipper division at the US Nationals.  My brother, Johnny, was already an avid 29er sailor, so as a family we enjoyed traveling around the west coast and Canada to race.

Aside from 29er racing, Johnny and I were learning to windsurf from our dad.  Yes, for a year or so when people asked me what I was doing, I would regularly reply “swimming with a windsurfer,” but nonetheless, I finally picked it up and was out at Crissy Field flying around on most summer afternoons.  From one high-performance sailboat to the next, change was inevitable. The first day I flew a kite I was hooked on kiteboarding.  Since that day, I’ve been able to understand more and more how kiteboarding bridges the gap between so many sports I love. After I graduated from the University of Vermont, I was ecstatic to return to the Bay Area where the wind is consistent and the St. Francis Yacht Club is conveniently located just a few hundred yards from Crissy Field. It’s thrilling to be part of the Yacht Club and local kiteboarding community that pioneered kiteboard course racing.

With the rest of my life, I work as a mechanical engineer for the City of San Francisco Water Department.  It is a challenging job, in which I help plan and develop the infrastructure of our great City.

Over the last two years, I’ve enjoyed competitive success. By developing my skills against the mostly male Crissy regulars, I’ve managed to do very well in fleets of women, winning the World Championship in 2012 and 2013. For my efforts, I’ve been recognized as a finalist for 2012 and 2013 Rolex US Yachtswoman of the Year, and the 2013 Rolex World Sailor of the Year awards.

Achievements

Finalist, US Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year
Finalist, World Rolex Sailor of the Year
1st World Championship – King Bay, Hainan, China
1st Kites and Big Cats – San Francisco, CA
1st North American Championship – San Francisco, CA
1st woman, 8th of 59 overall, Bridge to Bridge – San Francisco, CA
1st Canadian Championship – Squamish, BC
1st StFYC Lagunitas Race Series – San Francisco
Runner-up, Rolex US Yachtswoman of the Year

Links

The FoundationErika Heineken
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Katie Pettibone

Katie Pettibone and Michael Easton

Katie Pettibone is part of the Easton/Pettibone Nacra 17 team competing in the mixed gender Olympic catamaran class. The Nacra 17 is the newest and fastest boat introduced to the Olympics. Katie is putting her many years of top-level racing together with Mike Easton’s catamaran expertise. After a strong start where they became members of the U.S. Sailing Team at their first regatta, the team has been training hard, competing in Europe and training on the East Coast and in Florida.  This winter the team is continuing to practice on their new boat in Florida with top-notch coaches and previous Olympic-medalists Jay Glaser and Randy Smythe in preparation for the Olympic trials: the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami and the 2016 Nacra 17 Worlds in Clearwater, Florida. Spring will take the team back to Europe to compete against top boats before heading down to sail in Rio.

Katie was born and raised in Port Huron, Michigan. She grew up in a family of sailors racing around the Great Lakes and surrounding areas. Katie attended University of Miami, Fl and in her junior year she tried out and was chosen for Bill Koch’s historic first ever all women’s team to compete in the 1995 America’s Cup on Mighty Mary. Katie continued to race professionally, competing in the 1997-1998 Whitbread Around the World Race on Team EF Education, the 2000 America’s Cup Team America True in Auckland New Zealand and then to the next Around the World Race- the newly named Volvo Ocean Race on Amer Sports Too. In between events, Katie went to law school in Sacramento, CA and became licensed to practice law in California and Washington D.C. Katie then went on to compete in the 2007 America’s Cup in Valencia, Spain with the French Team Areva Challenge, where she was the last female to be part of the sailing crew of an America’s Cup team. Katie’s racing experience also includes top-level regattas all over the world, including the classic Sydney-Hobart race, the Tour de France la Voile and the extreme Worrell 1000.  She also currently works as a lobbyist in Sacramento, while working to build the Rising Tide Leadership Institute and its efforts to encourage women to compete in sailing in far reaching parts of the world, including the Middle East.

Achievements

2015 US Sailing Team Sperry-Topsider, Nacra 17
2015 US Nationals Nacra 17 Champions-1st
Top U.S. Team at Sailing World Cup Miami 2015- 21st
Second U.S Team at Nacra 17 North Americans 2015- 7th
Gold Fleet at World Championships Aarhus, Denmark -32nd (even with injuries)

3x America’s Cup Campaigns

  • AREVA Challenge, Valencia, Spain  2007
  • America True Syndicate, Auckland, NZ  2000
  • America3 Syndicate, San Diego, CA 1995

2x Around the World Racing Campaigns

  • Amer Sports Too Volvo Ocean Race 2001-2002
  • Team EF Education Whitbread Around the World Race 1997-1998

2014 Sailing Arabia The Tour, Skipper, Al Thurya, All-Women’s Team- 4th
2013 U.S. Women’s Match Race Championship Teammember
2011 Women’s Match Race- Olympic Trials, Oct. 2011, 5th
2005 Yngling- US Sailing Team Member

Links

The FoundationKatie Pettibone
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Dee Smith

Dee Smith

I have been very fortunate to have a long and successful pro-racing career. Growing up and sailing in the San Francisco Bay area, one of the most beautiful and challenging bodies of water on our planet, insured that I had to earn my sailing stripes and as a result become very competitive. I have been involved in many International teams representing all classes, and at all levels of sailing from Friday night races in the Bay Area to involvement in 3 America’s Cup campaigns, as well as 1 Whitbread and 1 Volvo campaign, winning 6 World Championships, and competing in 8 Admiral’s Cups.

My life’s journey was seriously interrupted during the 2007 Valencia America’s Cup when I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer.  I have never smoked, so this was shocking news.  I was told to travel back to the States to get my affairs in order, as I only had a few more months to live. I could no longer walk, and was forced to accept the level of surgery in Spain that was being offered to me there. Afterwards, my sailing community rallied around me, and I was eventually transported back home to the USA, where I began an amazing relationship with John’s Hopkins and their Orthopedic Oncology team. I  had a will to fight and to live with new experimental drugs. I can proudly say that was 8 years ago.

My recovery took me out of my normal sailing arena, and it was 12 months before I could really walk the docks in the hope of racing again. I knew I would never be the 100% that I was before, but I still had the will and mindset to pick up the pieces and try to reboot my career. Luckily, I  re-launched my career and I went on to successfully compete and win the Mini Maxi World Championships of 2012.

Unfortunately in 2013 during the America’s Cup in San Francisco, my life took another radical turn. I was riding my bicycle to our shore base where I was employed by Emirates Team NZL as their Local Knowledge and Strategy Expert. I was hit by a car, 1/2 a mile away from the gates, on the 3rd to last day of racing. This accident caused me to endure yet another major spine surgery, and by 2014, I was declared disabled. I have never been much for excuses or for being held down. I just like to get on with it. After taking all of 2014 off to recover from that surgery, my desire was back to sail again.

Not knowing how much “normal” race work I could do, I approached my friend Grant Spanhake, the Tech Director of the USA Olympic team, to offer my help to the team with tactics and strategy. He told me that it was a good idea, but if I wanted to help the team  more, I needed to sail in the Paralympics. Grant, otherwise known as “Fuzz”, convinced me to look into it and so I did. I am proud to say that I was cleared medically in April 2015 to try out for the USA team. I recently flew myself over to Hyeres, France for the OCR regatta, April 15th. I not only cleared the International Medical Criteria by another point, but I successfully competed amongst the world’s leading Paralympic sailors in the 2.4m class. It was clear to me that I could compete at a higher level with more practice and time in the boat on the water.

Drawing from my experience of sailing and being a tactician over the last 40 years in International competition, I plan to use this skill set to build a winning program. I have 150 days scheduled to race against the best sailors in the world over the next 18 months. This program will include the purchase of 2 boats, test sails, rigs and various setups to make sure I am fast in all conditions. Racing against the worlds best in major international regattas. The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee have been overwhelmingly supportive in this endeavor. It would give me great pleasure to compete and to represent the USA for a possible shot at a medal.

The FoundationDee Smith
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Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha

Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha

Annie Haeger:

My introduction to sailing began at the ripe age of 5, receiving an Optimist Dingy during the holiday season. Though my initial reaction to my “present” were tears and it was years before I jumped into an actual boat, sailing has been in my blood from the get go. I began my career at age 8 in the Opti, winning the Women’s National Championship, finishing 3rd in the open Championship and representing the United States at various European and South American events.  Highlights include winning the women’s division at the 700+ boat International Meeting at Lake Garda, Italy and winning the North American Championship in Trinidad and Tobago.

Post Optimist career, I qualified to represent the United States in the ISAF Youth Worlds twice in the Laser Radial, bringing home a Silver Medal in 2007. My laser stint was highlighted with a 3rd place finish at Youth Radial Europeans, 4th place finish at the 2007 Olympic trails, and back to back victories at the Leiter Cup.

Though I had previous success in the sport, college is where I learned how to become a champion. I received Women’s All American all four years, the only sailor to be nominated for the Quantum female College Sailor of the Year three times, winning in 2011, and was also was only the second woman in history to be awarded Co-ed All American status.  Tying Olympic Gold Medalist Anna Tunnicliffe with three Single-handed College National Championships, I also achieved success in the double-handed discipline winning B division my freshman year and finishing top four as a starter on the coed team racing team three times.  Senior year before launching into our full time Olympic campaign, Briana and I won the Women’s National Championship both skippering in A and B divisions. I am also honored to hold the record for the highest finish ever by a woman skipper at the Coed National Championship with a 4th place finish.In all, I helped lead BC to 2 Fowle Trophies for the best team in the Nation and culminated my Boston College career by being named the Eagle of the Year. This award is the highest honor of the athletic department, given annually to one male and one female senior student-athlete who are outstanding citizens, leaders, scholars and athletes.

Briana introduced me to the 470 my junior year in San Diego Bay over Thanksgiving break. Though we were able to train sporadically while in school, we knew once we graduated the Games were in our sights. Since going full time in September 2012, we have made many waves on the international 470 circuit.  We have one goal, and only one: to bring home the Gold Medal for the United States in 2016.

Briana Provancha:

Born and raised in San Diego, Briana was attracted to sailing by family and friends at age 8. Her love for sailing grew exponentially as a member of the Point Loma High School Sailing Team where she helped the team to four national championships. While in high school, she also qualified to represent the USA in three ISAF Youth World Championships (2005,2006,2007), securing the Silver medal in Busan, South Korea in 2005 and finally capturing the ISAF Youth World Title in Kingston, Canada in 2007. Briana attended Boston College where she led the Eagles to 2 Co-Ed National Titles, 1 Team Race National Title, 2 Women’s National Titles, and 2 Fowle Trophies. She is currently training full time as a crew for Annie Haeger in the Women’s 470 in hopes of representing the USA in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The duo is currently top five in the World and have made waves on the international 470 circuit as a top threat in the fleet.

Achievements

Annie Haeger:

Gold, Olympic Test Event, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, 470 (August 2015)
Bronze, 470 European Championships, Aarhus, Denmark, 470 (July 2015)
2012 Boston College Female Eagle of the Year
1st, 2012 ICSA Women’s Doublehanded Nationals
2011 Quantum Female Sailor of the Year
Three-time ICSA Women’s Singlehanded National champion (’08, ’09, ’11)
Four-time ICSA All American
Silver, Laser Radial, 2007 ISAF Youth Worlds

Briana Provancha:

Held the ISAF World #1 Ranking 470W (June 2013 – September 2013)
Gold at the 2015 Olympic Test Event Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 470 W
Bronze at the 2015 470 European Championships
#1 Ranked on the US Sailing Team 470W  (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Shortlisted for the 2015 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year

Links

The FoundationAnnie Haeger and Briana Provancha
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Helena Scutt and Paris Henken

Helena Scutt and Paris Henken

Paris Henken:

After learning to sail in Sabots in Southern California, some of Paris’s sailing highlights so far include winning the 2011 US Youth Champs in the 29er and the 2010 North Americans in the 29erXX. Gary Jobson listed her on his 2012 All-Star Junior list in ‘Sailing World’. She has instructed at San Diego Yacht Club where she has won ‘Most Outstanding Female Sailor of the Year’ for the last two years. She also used to ski on the Mammoth Mountain Ski Team and surf in the Scholastic Surf Series.

Helena Scutt:

Helena Scutt recently graduated from Stanford University (Biomechanical Engineering, ‘14) and put her master’s degree (Mechanical Engineering) on hold to train full-time for Rio 2016. Helena was captain of the Stanford Varsity Sailing Team for two years. She grew up in Seattle and learned to sail in various boats. Ultimately it was the 29er that drew her away from her soccer craze and she has been loving skiffs ever since. She hopes to inspire more youth sailors, especially girls, to race skiffs and be good stewards of the ocean.

Achievements

Helena Scutt:

2015 Pan American Games Bronze Medalist, 49erFX, with Paris Henken
2014 Seattle Yacht Club Bob Gibbons Memorial Trophy – One Design Sailor of the Year
2016, 2015, 2013 US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider, 49erFX
2014, 2012, 2010 US Sailing Development Team, 49erFX, 29erXX, 29er
2014, 2013 Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association All-Academic Sailing Team
2013 “Outstanding Female Junior Athlete” by Stanford Athletics Board

Paris Henken:

2015 Pan American Games Bronze Medalist
2013 San Diego Yacht Club: Jessop Girls Day Trophy for Outstanding Female Sailor of the Year
2012 San Diego Yacht Club: Jessop Girls Day Trophy for Outstanding Female Sailor of the Year
2012 Featured in Gary Jobson’s All Star List | Sailing World Magazine | January Issue
2010-2013 Varsity Sailing Letter | Coronado High School Varsity Sailing Team

Links

The FoundationHelena Scutt and Paris Henken
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Marion Lepert

Marion Lepert

Marion Lepert is a rising junior at Stanford University taking a gap year to campaign for the 2016 Olympics. She learned to windsurf at the age of 8 in Foster City, CA and started racing in the SF formula windsurfing race series a few years later. She competed internationally in the youth Techno 293 class for three years before moving up to the Olympic RS:X fleet. She’s been on the US Sailing Team since 2013 and has been actively training and competing since.

Achievements

2015 US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider, RS:X
2015 Pan American Games Bronze Medallist
2015 RS:X European Championships: 3rd U21, 21st Overall
2013 ISAF Youth Worlds: 4th

Links

DigiPowers AdminMarion Lepert
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Caleb Paine

Caleb Paine

Caleb has been sailing his entire life and started racing at the age of 7. After finishing high school, Caleb decided to put college on hold so he could pursue his lifelong dream of winning an Olympic gold medal. He bought himself a Finn and began competing full time in 2009. In 2011, he joined the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider and has since been climbing the world ranking in preparation toward his goal.

The most challenging aspect of Caleb’s quest for the gold has been financial resources. It took him 5 years to get a new mast and boat made to his specifications. Over the last few years, with Bill Kreysler’s help and financial assistance from the Foundation, Caleb has had more resources to refine his equipment and spend more time sailing in Rio and other parts of the world, which successfully culminated in a bronze medal in the 2016 Olympics.

Achievements

3rd 2016 Olympics
1st 2015 Finn North Americans
5th 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères
7th 2015 ISAF Sailing World Championship, Santander
3rd 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final Abu Dhabi
1st 2011-12 ISAF Sailing World Cup Series
1st 2013 ISAD Sailing World Cup Miami USA
3rd 2012 ISAF Sailing World Cup Kiel GER
1st 2012 Delta Lloyd Regatta (ISAF Sailing World Cup) Medemblik Holland
2nd 2011 US National Championship, Long Beach, CA

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DigiPowers AdminCaleb Paine
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