Cleveland Benefit, New Beginning and Focus on GOLD

The past week was filled with new beginnings. We had our Benefit at the Cleveland Yachting Club, Announced the new partnership between David Hein and Jessica Claflin, Began our training program on Lake Erie and recentered our focus on GOLD medals in Rio 2016!

The benefit dinner at the Cleveland Yachting Club surpassed our expectations. Friends from Rocky River and all around I-LYA came down for a dinner, some amazing raffles and to have an opportunity to meet Jessica, hear about our campaign and check our our Olympic NACRA 17.  It was amazing to see how many people are here at home supporting our efforts to focus on gold in rio and bring our medal home to Lake Erie after the Rio Games in 2016.

50 local businesses supported the event by providing food, beverages, raffle items and cash contributions to our campaign.  I cannot put into words how much I appreciate the support of our efforts to get to the Olympics and I assure you that I will make a point to bring my Medal to share with each of your companies when I return in 2016! While the fundraiser was a huge success, we are constantly raising money to support our training, equipment, coaching and travel as we prepare for the US Olympic Trials and the Games in two years. You may be shocked to know that US athletes working on an Olympic campaign are all SELF FUNDED and are required to take toe off of training to raise the funds to cover 100% of our expenses. That is the reason that events like last week and the continued support of everyone is so critical to our ability to focus on Gold and to be able to win in Rio 2016!

At the event I was thrilled to introduce everyone to my new partner in my campaign for Rio, Jessica Claflin.  Jessica is a great athlete, with a strong background in sailing along with a remarkable educational background from Brown University. More will be posted here on our blog about Jessica but she has been involved in previous Olympic Campaigns and is dedicated doing everything necessary to stay focus on gold and to win in Rio 2016.  Jessica and I are similar in many ways but the most important is our ability and willingness to stop at nothing to achieve our goal and win Gold in Rio!

Several people came out to see us as we spent time training on Lake Erie this past week.  Jessica and I launched from my home club of The Cleveland Yachting Club in Rocky River, Ohio and were thrilled to have a strong Southerly breeze that Cleveland sailors wait all year for that beautiful fall weather to provide amazing conditions on our Great Lake!

focus on gold

Since I started sailing at Cleveland Yachting Club when I was 8 years old, I have loved sailing on Lake Erie and all around I-LYA.  The lessons I have learned, the friends I have made and the love for competitive sailing are all part of who I am and will always be the reason that I strive to be the best I can be both in this sport and in all I do in life. Sailing and being a part of the community around Lake Erie has inspired me and will always draw me home!

Next week we are heading back up to Newport, RI to start our Fall training program in both Newport and Oyster Bay, New York. Our focus is going to be on our teamwork on the boat, communication and our movements through all conditions. On the Olympic NACRA 17, these things make a huge difference on the boat because curved blades can produce tremendous lift and if you are not ready to respond to the boats forces it can be dramatically hazardous when racing against the top athletes in the world.  Our time this fall will bring us up to speed with the US Fleet and will get us ready to focus our race tactics and performance leading up the the ISAF World Cup in Miami which is the qualifier for the 2015 US Sailing Team, leading into the Trials for 2016.

Our focus is singular and our efforts are exclusively focused on winning. Each morning we start our day with a focus on gold and we conclude our efforts with a recap of how we are progressing. There is nothing that can stop us from achieving our goal and we WILL bring home Gold from Rio. Thanks for your continued support and please keep coming back to our blog to watch our progress!