Newport’s Go-To Sailing Professional

Published on April 3rd, 2017

by Sam Crichton,
Anderson Reggio came to Newport in 2005 to work in the hospitality industry. A dozen years later, he is an in-demand industry strategist and on-water professional.

Reggio coached sailing while at college and grew up riding 420’s and dinghies on the Connecticut River. He moved to Newport hoping to start a career in the hospitality industry with an eye on eventually opening a restaurant. But once he was here, the lure of sailing had him regularly on the iconic 12-meter boats, and he spent his first summer competing on the 12-meter circuit. He also got a job at Zelda’s on Thames Street, which provided his hospitality fix.

In 2008, Reggio started sailing in other classes and in offshore events, and he became interested in the onboard role of navigator. He joined the Sail Newport team in 2011, trained for his PRO (Principal Race Officer) certification and over the next three years worked as the regatta manager for the J Class event and the America’s Cup World Series, along with numerous world and national championship regattas.

He left Sail Newport in 2013 to start his own business working with clients managing backend data and analytics for high-performance race boats, weather-forecasting and on-board navigation. He also works in race management for regattas.

He is currently studying for a degree in meteorology. For the last three years, he has worked with the Melges class for the 32’s and 24’s world championships, and this fall he will work with the Melges 20’s class for the world championship being held in Newport.

What changes would he like to see in the sailing industry?

“People need to be more passionate about the environment that we use for our sport,” he said. “If everybody could change their mindset and do their part we would be able to improve what is currently happening. It is unfathomable when you are sailing in the crystal waters of the Caribbean to see Mylar balloons floating in the water. Seventy-five percent of the planet is covered in water, and it’s going to end up in the water if you don’t dispose of things properly.”

As the navigator on the 104-foot Dixon-designed Danneskjol for the recent Loro Piana and St Barths Bucket regattas, Reggio got to enjoy, “one of my favorite places in the world to sail for the tactical challenges and natural beauty.”

As for words of advice for someone thinking about the sailing industry as a career?

“Find your specialty, put your head down and do the best job you can. Be patient, work hard and take advantage of every opportunity to get out on the water,” he said.

Author: Sam Crichton, a transplant from Australia, has worked in the sailing industry for more than 16 years both locally and internationally.

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