Meet David Hein the Person

David Hein is an 18 year old athlete focused on the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Jessica Claflin and David Hein hard at work on their NACRA17

You are on this blog about his Olympic campaign so you know about his sailing, this article is more about who David is as a person, what drives him, what sets him apart from typical teenagers and exactly what makes him a success.

David Hein is from Rocky River, Ohio. Born into a family of sailors from the Cleveland Yachting Club, David spent more time at CYC in his early years than he did at home. Sailing in club races and cruising Lake Erie from his first year, David hs always been at peace with boats and in the water.

David started sail camp at CYC when he was 8 years old and began learning to rig, sail and maintain an Optimist sailboat. This same year, David’s oldest sister, Lianne started racing for the CYC Jr. Racing Team and so David cane to every regatta in the I-LYA Travelers Series where he met many sailors his age racing Opti’s from Vermillion Boat Club, Sandusky Sailing Club and Hoover Sailing Club to name a few. He quickly made friends with these sailors and before long he was begging to race with them on the weekends. David’s first regatta was the CYC Youth Regatta at the end of this year where he was celebrated by his peers for getting into the action. That was all he needed and David Hein was instantly hooked on competitive sailing.

David Hein

During the off season David spent his winters skiing at Holimont Ski Club in Western New York, racing with the ski team and making friends on the slopes with other sailors who spent the frozen days on the mountains. Over the long winter when everyone forgot about summer activities, David Hein spent his time talking about how exciting racing sailboats was and how he would be racing as soon as Lake Erie melted in the spring. Sure enough, that spring he was on the water getting ready for the summer of regattas.

David Hein at Holimnt Ski Club

David quickly developed his skills on Lake Erie and within a year became the top Optimist sailor in I-LYA. Driven to better himself, David Hein Started to branch out, sailing at regional Optimist Cllass regattas and then to National level events. David qualified for the USODA Team Trials and started representing the USA at regattas around the globe.


By the time David was 13, he had his sights set on becoming a champion. He was training on weekends in Florida and both training and competing in Europe through the school year, but he wanted to push himself to be better and to achieve more. at the end of 7th grade David decided to leave the comfort of his school, his friends and his home and to transfer to virtual school and move to Florida to train through the winters at Lauderdale Yacht Club. By the time David turned 15, he had sailed at the Orange Bowl Youth regatta in Miami Florida for 7 years and had started racing the Techno 293 windsurfer, a 29er skiff and on his Viper F16 Catamaran.

Becoming too big for his Optimist, David decided that he wanted to focus on multihull sailing and set his sights on training for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio on the NACRA 17. David knew going into his campaign that he was in for a uphill battle since the average age of an Olympic sailor was mid 30’s and in Rio he will be only 19 years old, but that did not dissuade him in the least. David Hein began training in earnest, training with Robbie Daniels in Clearwater, Florida on his F-16 and competing around North America. At 16, David was named to the US Sailing Youth Development Team and received one of the first NACRA 17’s to be produced for American sailors.

David Hein on his Viper F16

David Hein is training full-time to be the strongest athlete he can be as he competes in international regattas in the Olympic Mixed Multihiull class on his NACRA17. He is not however identified by his sport, or his accomplishments. David Hein at the Kentucky DerbyDavid is a unique young man. Finishing his schooling at the Florida Virtual School at the top of his class, David is studious, focused and intent on his continued education and his ultimate future in the business world. David will attend the University of Colorado in Boulder after the Rio 2016 Games.

David Hein has spent his highschool years in a self-motivated schedule of schooling in Florida while he trains in the gym with his Olympic trainers, sails 5 days a week with his coaches and competes around the world. When not on the wateror in school, David spends 20-30 hours a week talking with companies of all sizes about his Olympic pursuits, raising the funds he needs to cover the high cost of his training. He speaks to groups of youth and collegiate sailors as part of his fundraising activities, talks to business groups about focus, ambition and putting everything you have into being the best you can be, no matter what obstacles you face in life. He has also opened himself up to raising funds as a spokesperson for brands that support his efforts, a model, and always goes the extra mile to provide value and support for the companies who believe that hard work, persistence and undying belief in your own abilities will create success in all areas of your life.

David Hein’s story is just beginning. He is actively talking to companies who are interested in a young, athletic and outgoing athlete to raise money for his training while he is continuing his education and working 80+ hours a week to get him to where he needs to be. David defines himself by hard work and knows that no matter what happens on the water that his life has been and will be a success as long as he continues to believe in himself and never stops working towards his goals.

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David’s bio