Louisa Chafee, a lifelong Rhode Islander, began sailing at a young age; sailing opti’s out of Saunderstown Yacht Club, and even though she enjoyed sailing, she hated the boat.
After a long break, her mother convinced her to give sailing another try the summer before she started at Brown University, and after some hesitation, Louisa decided to follow her mum’s advice and try competitive sailing once more. She began crewing in a Club 420 for various skippers at her yacht club, and in about two months, she was close to being considered one of the top crews in the fleet. At the Narragansett Bay Yachting Association Race Week, Louisa and her skipper placed 3rd overall, and it was here that Louisa first met John Mollicone, the coach of Brown Sailing. He suggested she try college sailing.
Her sophomore year at Brown she began sailing in A-division, competing at varsity events every weekend. At the end of the year, her hard work paid off when she was selected for the All-NEISA First Team Crews. Furthermore, Brown qualified for all three Nationals that year: Women’s Fleet Racing Nationals, Team Racing Nationals, and Coed Fleet Racing Nationals, and when John asked her if she’d be willing to sail all three, she gladly accepted. At the Awards Banquet following the conclusion of Coed Nationals, Louisa was named an All-American crew, an honor rarely given to sophomores.
Louisa’s junior year brought great results – her skipper placed in the top 5 at almost every regatta they sailed, and won both the New England Fleet Race Championship and the New England Team Race Championship. She was once more selected for the All-NEISA First Team, and was a finalist for the Babineau Trophy, given to the NEISA Crew of the Year. Additionally, she competed in all three Nationals, helping Brown finish third at Team Race Nationals and fourth at Coed Nationals, earning her a spot on the All-American team once more.
Louisa began sailing with a new skipper in A-division during her senior year. Through a few growing pains, the pair persevered and focused their energy on achieving the top result possible every weekend. Although the results were not what they hoped for, when the All-American team was announced a week after the conclusion of Coed Nationals, Louisa was named an All-American Crew, making her a three time All-American Crew, a feat seldom accomplished. She also finished her academic college career feeling extremely satisfied, graduating with honors in Folklore and Mythology after writing a thesis on dragons.
Nacra 17th Olympic Class:
- 7th, Sailing World Cup Weymouth & Portland, 2016
- 12th, Sailing World Cup Miami, 2016
- Three-Time ICSA College Sailing All-American