Cayard resigns from US Olympic Sailing

Published on February 24th, 2023

(February 24, 2023) – Paul Cayard (San Francisco, CA), who had been had been appointed by US Sailing in March 2021 as Executive Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing, today announced his resignation from the position. Here are his words to supporters of US Olympic Sailing:

Unfortunately, over the past couple of months, the US Sailing Association and I had a complete breakdown on several levels. The process of resolution was not good and ultimately unsuccessful. Despite my passion for our mission and my perseverance, I can no longer work with US Sailing.

In 2020, I was told that trying to build a successful Olympic Team, within US Sailing, would be very challenging. Changing the processes, culture, and support for the Team is an extremely difficult task. We are just starting to make gains. Raising two or three times the amount of money ever raised in the USA, to support that goal, is also a difficult task. Starting and building an endowment so that future leaders will have something to rely on financially, is another tall order.

Ultimately, the relationship with US Sailing proved to be one that I could not cope with. It pains me to admit that as I did sail around the world twice and generally feel pretty capable of dealing with adversity.

I want to emphasize my gratitude for your support, trust and confidence in me. Know that we made significant progress in the movement to get the USA back to the top of the podium. I remain interested in our mission and supporting athletes. Maybe this will take a different form in time.

It has been my honor and privilege to work with my staff and for all the great athletes of the USA who have so much potential. I wish them all the best!

From a report in the Associated Press:

“Unfortunately, the current board of US Sailing recently restructured the Olympic Department, including my role as executive director,” said Cayard. “The new structure is not what I signed up for, nor something I am willing to be part of.

“I am not a quitter, but I do know when it is time to go. I am grateful to those who supported this mission with me. I wish our USA athletes great success and I always will be there for them.”

Cayard said he raised $18 million since he was hired and was working to restructure the Olympic trials to reduce burdens on American sailors.

In an email to the AP, US Sailing board president Richard Jepsen said Cayard “was offered the ability to continue to support the team by, among other things, providing valuable input into its direction and leading the important fundraising efforts. He declined, and we respect his decision.”

Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Program:
Men’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 7
Women’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 6
Mixed Two Person Dinghy – 470
Men’s Skiff – 49er
Women’s Skiff – 49erFx
Men’s Kiteboard – Formula Kite Class
Women’s Kiteboard – Formula Kite Class
Men’s Windsurfing – iQFoil
Women’s Windsurfing – iQFoil
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17

Venue: Marseille, France
Dates: July 26-August 11


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