US Sailing Honors Coaches Chapman, Keen

Published on April 12th, 2018

Portsmouth, RI (April 12, 2018) – After receiving nominations from the public in early 2018, US Sailing’s Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) announced two winners of 2017 national coaching awards. Rosie Chapman (Houston, Texas) has been named US Sailing’s 2017 National Coach of the Year, with Steve Keen (Stamford, Conn.) as US Sailing’s 2017 Development Coach of the Year. Each year, the OSC honors coaches who have distinguished themselves at the youth, national and international levels of sailing.

“These two coaches exemplify the methods and values that US Sailing hopes to see flourishing across our sport,” said Bruce Burton, President of US Sailing. “Rosie and Steve each had a superb competitive record last year, while also helping young sailors become well-rounded and resilient athletes. US sailors were also fortunate to have both coaches guiding them at the Youth Worlds in Sanya, China, and the results speak for themselves.”

Chapman with 2017 Youth Sailing World Champion Charlotte Rose (Laser Radial, USA)

Rosie Chapman previously coached in both Britain and Canada before becoming Program Director and Laser Performance Coach at the Gulf Coast Youth Sailing Association (GCYSA) in Houston, one of the nation’s top regional sailing programs. Chapman, a U.K. native, has also worked extensively with US Sailing’s Olympic Development Program (ODP) over the past year.

“Honestly I feel shocked and excited to receive this award,” said Chapman. “Mostly I feel humbled and honored to be selected amongst so many great coaches in the United States. I am also grateful to GCYSA for giving me the opportunity to work with great athletes on the Gulf Coast, and to US Sailing for the chance to work at the international level.”

Athletes coached by Chapman in 2017 achieved podium results at a range of major Laser and Laser Radial events, including Laser Midwinters East, ACC’s, Youth Champs, Nationals, the CRESSY High School Nationals and others. Chapman’s coaching highlight came in December, when Charlotte Rose (Houston, Texas), a GCYSA and ODP athlete, won a gold medal in the Laser Radial at the Youth Sailing World Championship in Sanya, China.

Chapman said a key part of her own coaching development had been seeking out and learning from other coaches in the U.S. “I would tell younger coaches to take every opportunity they can to learn. We are all continuing to grow each day, and the more you ask of your sailors the more you need to learn and grow along with them.”

“One thing that our Youth Worlds Team did well in China, and that can be an example to other sailors and coaches, is trusting the process,” said Chapman. “We chose a training plan, developed a routine for race days, and worked on how to be disciplined both before and during the event. Our strong results as a team were really tied to that process.”

Previous winners of US Sailing’s National Coach of the Year Award include Mike Ingham (Rochester, N.Y.), David Ullman (Newport Beach, Calif.), Morgan Reeser (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), Greg Wilkinson (Rockport, Mass.), Mark Ivey (Tiburon, Calif.), Michael Callahan (Washington, D.C.), Betsy Alison (Newport, R.I.), Bill Ward (Newport Beach, Calif.), Zachary Leonard (Branford, CT), Rollin “Skip” Whyte (Wickford, R.I.), Roger “Scott” Ikle (Geneva, N.Y.), Serge Jorgensen (Sarasota, Fla.), Jay Glaser (Long Beach, Calif.), and Luther Carpenter (New Orleans, La.).

Keen with 2017 Youth Sailing World Champions Carmen and Emma Cowles (Girls I420, USA)

A repeat winner of this award, Steve Keen has helped orchestrate unprecedented success for U.S. I420 athletes in recent years, and 2017 continued that trend. I420 Sailors coached by Keen won medals at regattas such as North Americans, Youth Champs, Europeans, Junior Europeans, ACC’s, Orange Bowl, and others.
Keen also presided over his third straight I420 gold medal at the Youth Worlds in Sanya, China.

In Sanya, Carmen Cowles (Larchmont, N.Y.) and Emma Cowles (Larchmont, N.Y.) took the win in the girls I420, with silver by Thomas Rice (Garden City, N.Y.) and Trevor Bornath (Stuart, Fla.) in the boys fleet. Keen works as the Head 420 Coach at LISOT, an internationally competitive racing program based in the Long Island Sound area.

“Awards like this speak to the hard work put in by so many different people, not just myself,” said Keen. “There are past sailors from the very beginning, 10 years ago, who paved the way for the current generation, there are the team mates and training partners of the current sailors who have been lifted up on top of past sailors to reach new heights, and other coaches who make their mark on the sailors’ lives. There are people behind the scenes, parents, administrators who help organize the logistics and make things happen. Then there is my family, Lori and Brodi who give me the ability to do what I am truly passionate about.”

Keen said there were a few key principles that he follows as a coach. “First and foremost, the sailor comes first,” said the New Zealand native, who has lived in the U.S. for over a decade. “Directed hard work with a passion endures through the pain to reach the glory. Sacrifice is important; a measure of your success can be what you give up to achieve your success. Finally, there are not enough resources in life to do everything, and you have to be able to prioritize. Distractions take many talented people away from true success.”

For Keen, the rewards of a career in coaching are both ample and strait-forward. “Seeing a sailor of any level achieve what they set out to do, and then having that sailor show a willingness to push harder for continued growth, is why I do this.”

Previous winners of sailing’s Developmental Coach of the Year Award include Willie McBride (Santa Barbara, Calif.), Todd Fedyszyn (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Steve Keen (Stamford, Conn.), Jay Kehoe (Annapolis, Md.) Ryan Minth (New York, N.Y.), Brett Davis (Naples, Fla.), Ben Glass (Seattle, Wash.), Duffy Markham (Wellesley, Mass.), Tom Coleman (Hixson, Tenn.), Rob Hallawell (Marblehead, Mass./Coronado, Calif.), Brian Doyle (Darien, Conn./Hanover, N.H.), Amy Gross-Kehoe (Bayville, N.Y.), Adam Werblow (St. Mary’s, Md.) and Mike Zani (Bristol, R.I.).

About US Sailing
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team. For more information, please visit

Source: Will Ricketson, Olympic Communications Manager

Tags: , , ,

Back to Top ↑

Get Your Sailing News Fix!

Your daily or weekly download by email.

Subscribe - In popup

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’ll keep your information safe.