US Sailing and Sperry have partnered to recognize local sailors for contributions made to their respective sailing communities. Sperry Local Ambassadors have a passion for sailing and they share that passion with others to get out on the water and support the growth of our sport. The Sperry Local Ambassador for the 2019 Beverly Junior Regatta, a USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival, on August 13-14, is Kellie Crete.
Meet Kellie Crete of Marion, Mass.
Kellie Crete has been a longtime volunteer of the Beverly Yacht Club. Growing up, Kellie participated in BYC’s Junior Sailing Program and now she is giving back to the program that helped shape her childhood. Most recently, Kellie served on the Junior Sailing Program Committee, chaired the Junior Sailing Committee and chaired the Junior Sailing Auction.
“She has done so with the highest level of energy and enthusiasm,” Joe Vergoni, Chair of the Junior Sailing Chair at Beverly Yacht Club. “Kellie is an idea person who rolls up her sleeves to make sure what she wants to achieve is executed and accomplished in line with her vision. She is always learning and finding a way to make our program more fun, safe, competitive and efficient.”
Kellie is a Vice President of Safety and Loss Control at Gowrie Group and works closely with the marine industry along with US Sailing and yacht clubs across the country. Kellie’s exposure to other junior sailing programs, directors and chairs has been invaluable to their program.
Kellie, her husband Dan, along with their son Tapper and daughter Addie live in Marion, Mass. The entire Crete family is actively involved in the BYC and the junior sailing program. They can often be found on a summer day cruising Sippican Harbor in their boat, Courage.
A Q&A with Kellie Crete
What is special about your local sailing community and the water that surrounds it?
Kellie Crete: My parents visited Marion when I was in the 2nd Grade. My Mom thought that this was a beautiful community and a wonderful place to raise kids, she was right. One of my favorite things about Marion is seeing the kids in the summer riding bikes while wearing life jackets, all on their way to or from sailing – or just messing about in boats. Boating takes over our lives just as the ice leaves, in fact some boats stay in the water until Mother Nature forces them out. There is solid evidence of this displayed each December when the lighted Christmas Tree appears in the outer harbor on the granite remnants of what was once the yacht club. I served as Junior Chair for the Beverly Yacht Club for two years. While considering if I could take on that task, a very wise friend reminded me that it would most likely be the most challenging but rewarding volunteer experience, and it was. I consider myself very lucky to be involved in a sport that teaches children so many lessons beyond the athleticism. As Junior Chair, I had the opportunity to see just what an amazing team our kids were. I thoroughly enjoyed the comradery between the kids, all the kids. Different ages, different towns, boys, girls – they bonded into one amazing Team.
What/who inspired your love for the water?
Kellie Crete: My early years were not spent on Buzzards Bay, but on Lake George in New York. We would spend every summer day on or in the water. Hiking streams, swimming, rowing boats, fishing, paddling boats, sailing boats and then later water skiing, windsurfing, sailing faster boats. Our move to Marion provided us with many new reasons to spend all day on the water. Buzzards Bay has with everything from flat calm waters to “deadliest catch” seas. Living in Marion, I quickly figured out that all the cool kids hung out at the yacht club. Originally, I thought it was just the Chocolate Frappes and French Fries, but I grew to see that there was so much more.
If there is one thing the sailing community could do to become more sustainable, what would that be?
Kellie Crete: Sailing is an expensive sport, but they all are – so pick one that is really worth it. I am still at BYC because of the impact it had on me as a child. I want very much for my own kids to be competent and safe on the water. I want them to have fun all while learning sportsmanship and seamanship. I want them to spend the rest of their lives enjoy this earth and protecting it. Imagine a sport that gets your kids away from the screens, provides them with Vitamin D and lifelong friends. Sailing connects us – to Mother Nature and each other. I cannot imagine having to live a life away from the ocean.