Creating Excitement through Success

Published on May 1st, 2018

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
American sailors, once so dominant at the peak of our sport, have fallen off the radar.

It has been some time since the US Sailing Team has been strong at the Olympics, and it has been equally long since the USA has had an America’s Cup team that legitimately represented the country.

I see apathy toward both events, but a concerted effort is now underway to return the USA to prominence.

A new culture within the US Olympic sailing program has tightened the structure from youth development through elite training, with intensive thought and planning invested to build a sustainable program to consistently compete with the best.

The involvement of the New York Yacht Club has returned to the America’s Cup, and with a team (Bella Mente Quantum Racing Association) led by honored Americans, there is an eagerness to succeed while proudly representing their country.

I reached out to the leaders of these teams to learn how they hope their success will impact sailing in the USA.

Olympic Games: Malcolm Page, Chief of Olympic Sailing (USA)
I was privileged to represent Australia in three Games, and witnessed the impact our team’s success had on the sport in my country. The team did not win any medals in 2004 (hate remembering that!), but then was the #2 country in 2008 and the top gold medal winner in 2012. We raised the profile of sailing in Australia and inspired generations to pursue the sport.

I see parallels between Australia and the USA, and I am now in a position to lead a cultural shift that can help the States remain as the top medal winning country in Olympic history. There is so much young talent in the USA, and in the year I have been with the team, our mission has been to write the manuscript that leads these sailors to the podium. It is our goal for all US sailors to look toward their Olympic sailing program as that beacon from which they can be proud. Details.

America’s Cup: Terry Hutchinson, Executive Director and Skipper
I am a born and bred American, and I grew up following my heroes compete in the America’s Cup. I fought for the opportunity to reach that stage, and was privileged to find myself alongside these mentors on US teams for the 2000 and 2003 Cups. But the US presence in the event waned afterwards, and I was involved in teams representing New Zealand and Sweden.

What we are doing now is to return American pride and ability to a team able to win the America’s Cup, and we want our team connected with the best sailing athletes and technicians in our country. We want our effort to stir excitement and get people involved in sailing, and with some luck, put the dream in a young sailor’s mind that they too, with hard work, can reach this stage too. Details.

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