Summer is here and the time is right…
Okay, I may have stolen that line from a song but still it rings true right now for me. This is the last hot season before the USA Olympic sailing trials and the teams in the NACRA 17 are following diverse training programs. Some of the teams are in Europe all summer, others are training in Miami, some are between the USA and Europe and there are others who have called it quits recently. The spectrum of what teams are doing to give them the edge over the competition next winter is broad and means that the gates are wide open. So it begs the question…what am I doing to give me the best chance to win the trials and become an Olympian?
Given the current reality of my campaign I have decided to spend the summer travelling to clubs around the USA in an attempt to accomplish three specific goals:
- To present my campaign, the lessons I have learned and the experiences I have gained to sailors at clubs across the country as a way to raise funds for my training
- To give local sailors the opportunity to get onto an Olympic NACRA17 and experience the thrill of flying across the water on these high-performance boats
- To give me additional exposure to different conditions, a variety of sailors and the possibility of different coaches at each club I speak/train at.
Sure, while I am doing these things this summer I will also have exposure to many athletes that while they are on my boat may discover that they love the challenges and opportunity of the NACRA 17 and might want to keep sailing with me through the Olympic Trials and into the Rio Games. An obvious and definite advantage which could give me the edge I need to get to Rio next summer. I have found that the pressures of an Olympic campaign and the time required to train and become the best you can be is daunting and many people who start sailing an Olympic campaign in any class find that it is just too much for them to handle…It is the #2 reason why people end their campaigns. So finding someone who is dedicated, loves sailing the boat and is willing to commit the next year to grueling hard work and long hours for the chance to win Olympic Gold would be a huge win from this tour.
Another big part of this is that while I am talking with large and mid-sized companies about sponsoring my campaign, exposure is always a big question for them. Sailing is not exactly a hugely popular sport in America and the amount of TV coverage is…well it’s none and so compared to sports like tennis, golf or even bike racing (the Tour de France and other big races are televised in the USA) sailing is a difficult sport to allocate “sponsorship” dollars to because of the limited audience. To help these companies see more value in what they receive, I will wrap my truck, trailer and boat with their branding as I drive 50,000 miles around the country going between the ten clubs I want to train at in my Summer Club Tour of 2015. That’s a lot of miles, a lot of time on the road, and a huge amount of exposure for the company who gets the rights through their sponsorship of my campaign! A lot more than commercials on TV or billboards all over the country and they are helping me to work hard and win Gold in Rio, not to mention they get a spokesperson for their brand on top of it al!
The biggest reason I am going on tour is simply to meet sailors from around the country, get to know them and to introduce them to the boat and the opportunities available to them in Olympic sailing. In the USA, our exposure to multihulls is limited and the number of regattas and level of competition is fragmented compared to Europe or other regions around the globe. If I can help to get more competitive sailors engaged in sailing these fast and exciting boats then we will raise the level of performance for everyone and give me (and the entire US fleet) a stronger chance at winning medals in the Games.
If you are a member of a club or organization and want to help me with my Summer Club Tour, I am looking for a place to train for about a week, somewhere to stay while I am there, the opportunity to speak (at a dinner maybe) to your members or team about my campaign and lessons learned and to line up some local sailors to go out for an hour (or a whole day) to sail on my boat in your local waters. I won’t be able to do this without your help and support, I need you to help me make this happen at your club. Please call me at 216-210-3598 or text me or simply send me an email, whatever is most convenient for you. I am trying to build a schedule of 10 clubs over about 10 weeks to make this Summer Club Tour a success. Thanks for your help!