||Talent Abounds at High-Performance Nacra Clinic
By Meredith Laitos
On May 13-14, the St. Francis Sailing Foundation hosted a High Performance Nacra 15 Clinic at St. Francis Yacht Club on San Francisco Bay. An impressive cadre of volunteer coaches came together to train 26 kids aboard a fleet of six Nacras. By the end of the weekend, Pamela Healy told the group, “Someone in this group will be going to the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires in 2018.”
One Clinic participant was kite-racer Daniela Moroz who, at the age of 15 in 2016, became the youngest-ever recipient of the Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year award. Now, age 16, Daniela participated in the Nacra clinic, marking the first time she has ever raced a sailboat. She and 25 others rotated through Nacras all weekend, learning to sail (and capsize, and right) the boats in some of the most challenging conditions they will ever experience, also known as San Francisco Bay.
The Nacra 15 was selected for this clinic because it was recently named a World Sailing youth boat and its cousin, the Nacra 17, will be a Youth Olympic boat in 2018. Nacra designer and volunteer coach Pete Melvin (of Morrelli & Melvin), brought four boats to the clinic which combined with two Olympic Development Program boats to compile the entire US fleet of this four-month-old class.
Another incredible aspect of the clinic was the caliber of support. There were eight coach boats (more than one per Nacra) and coaches included Bryan Paine of Ullman Sails, Pete Melvin of Morelli & Melvin (1988 Olympian), Malcolm Paige (US Olympic Sailing Director and 2x Gold Medalist), Craig Healy (2000 Olympian), Chris Steinfeld (1984 Olympian; Silver Medalist), Mike Martin (3x 505 World Champion) and Pamela Healy (1992 Olympian, Bronze Medalist).
Expect to see more high-performance development sailing at the St. Francis Yacht Club in the months and years to come.