ODP Recap: All-Girls Skiff Clinic, San Diego


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  • Host Club: Coronado Yacht Club
  • Coaches: Willie McBride, Molly Vandemoer

By Richard Feeny, Youth Development Program Manager

12 young women sailed in the Skiff Girls clinic in San Diego May 1-3, 2015. Coronado Yacht Club was the host and was a perfect venue because we had light air in the mornings, building into a manageable sea breeze in the afternoon.  Even a 12-year-old Optimist sailor was able to get some solid tiller time in the light air, and though she was upside down more than the rest, she still improved a ton and was able to sail around in the breeze too.

Our primary goal at this event was to help the sailors fine tune and figure out the 29er, and to help them get an idea of what opportunities and resources are out there should they choose to pursue high performance racing either in the 29er or another Olympic development class. Sailors exhibited new confidence in themselves as they de-rigged. The coaches shared their passion about the pursuit of excellence and mastery in this type of sailing. Sailors increased their capacity for personal development through working on sailing skills, organizing their own summer campaign, learning how to work towards goals, learning how to learn from failures, and learning how to operate well as a team.

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WATCH: Video Recap of All-Girls Skiff Clinic, San Diego

VIEW: Photos by Willie McBride

The skills and lessons that you learn in the Olympic development classes will carry into everything else that you ever do. As Charlie McKee said during a debrief, I think that all of these sailors will be able to look back on this and be proud that they were there at the beginning of the US Sailing Olympic Development Program! A wide base of sailors across the US can be competitive in this type of racing if they decide to commit the time to it.

Key Drills

  • Heeled-to-windward progressions:
    • Start with both sailors seated inside the rail, skipper trims main – sail boat with windward rail touching water by easing main
    • Both sailors in seated inside rail, crew trims main – sail boat with windward rail touching water by easing main
    • Crew on wire, skipper trims main – sail boat with windward rail touching water by easing main
    • Crew on wire crew trims main – sail boat with windward rail touching water by easing main
    • Crew on wire crew trims main – sail boat with windward rail touching water by pinning main and steering to control heel
  • Tacking around forestay

Additional Information:

Contact for Further Questions: youthdevelopment@ussailing.org

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About US Sailing’s Olympic Development Program

US Sailing’s Olympic Development Program (ODP) was launched in January 2015 to lead the progression of the most promising youth sailing talent in the US. Guided by the US Olympic Sailing Committee’s Project Pipeline strategic initiative, the ODP fosters an integrated approach to training in the core development and Olympic classes, and is part of a system to provide the United States with a steady stream of well-prepared sailors. Some of these athletes will go on to represent Team USA at The Olympic Games, and provide the national team with consistent success. The fundamental premise of the ODP is to focus on the critical transition from youth sailing to high performance racing in Olympic classes. The ODP is funded through generous donations by individual and organizations. The lead gift for the program was provided by the AmericaOne Foundation. For more information on the ODP, please visit www.ussailing.org/olympics

The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org

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Press Contact: Will Ricketson, Olympic Communications Manager, US Sailing. willricketson@ussailing.org, +1 (978) 697-2384.