Collaboration for America’s Top Sailors

Published on April 16th, 2015

by Jerelyn Biehl, One Design Management
Imagine a world where some of the best and brightest coaches and sailors give 4 days of their time to help advance youth sailing. Imagine opening the “black book” of sail tuning with cutting edge air-foil modeling and sharing these tips to enraptured youth sailors; putting top coaches on the water in boats beside the youth sailors encouraging and supporting them through role modeling and example; imparting years of time on the water to increase performance.

Such was the 2015 CISA Advanced Racing Clinic held on April 9-12 at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club in Long Beach, CA.


Fuzz Spanhake demonstrating sail shape.

Always looking for an edge, CISA’s Clinic Director Robbie Dean amassed not only an impressive list of coaches, but collaborated with the US Sailing’s Olympic Development Program who provided experts and enlisted Quantum Racing’s talent to supplement the staff.


Instructor Brendan Casey

Imagine 6 I420 sailors (in 3 boats) being coached for one session by Adam Roberts, Fuzz Spanhake, Dee Smith and Leandro Spina. Jealous? I was. How can our youth sailors not progress with that kind of one-on-one support? And it wasn’t just the I420s….each class had their own class specific coaches with the professionals rotating between the land and water sessions….29ers, Radial, Laser and Club 420 sailors were the recipients of this education session.

Briana PCISA

Instructor Briana Provancha

Besides the dry land and on-the-water sessions, morning briefings often set the tone for the day. Jack Hogan, a radial sailor from Los Angeles, was the recipient of a personalized periodization plan care of coach Brendan Casey (Australian Olympian), outlining how best to optimize his 124 days to the start of the Laser Radial worlds in Kingston, Ontario this summer. USSTS Technical Coach Fuzz Spanhake, gave hands on lessons of sail control for each class as well as the evening lecture.


Instructor Cameron Biehl shadowing 29ers

US Sailing Team Sperry member and CISA alum Chris Barnard, in Newport Beach for a short rest between Palma and Hyeres events, spent the afternoon in a Laser alongside the sailors, showing his World caliber skills.


Instructor Ed Baird

Besides the intense sessions, the sailors also had a bit of fun. The attitude in the boat park was apparent with renewing of friendships and new ones made; volunteers retrieving dollies at the end of the day for the tired sailors and sailors encouraging fellow sailors to improve. ABYC has hosted the CISA Clinic since its inception and literally turns the Club over to the sailors and coaches. Quite the collaboration to help our sport.


Sail trim discussion led by Fuzz Spanhake

By the end of the 4th day, the absorption rate of the sailors’ brains were off the chart. Their notebooks are overloaded with notes and knowledge ready to be applied to their next event.


Laser followed by instructor Luke Lawrence

Thanks to the 2015 CISA coaching staff: C420: Annie Haeger, Briana Provancha, Adam Corpuz-Lahne, Lasers: Brendan Casey, Luke Lawrence, Radials: Ryan Minth, Claire Dennis, Sean Kelley, 29ers: Cameron Biehl, Zack Maxam, I420: Adam Roberts supplemented by Leandro Spina, Ed Baird, Fuzz Spanhake & Dee Smith.

About CISA: The California International Sailing Association (CISA), is a non-profit organization established in 1971 that benefits amateur sailing. CISA maintains tax exempt status under section 501.c.3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Tax ID # 95-2666948. CISA supports youth sailing through clinics and grants “Supporting a Generation of Champions.” For more information:

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