David Liebenburg

Dan Morris

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Shaner- Atwood on ISAF World Cup

Loving the Process and Thinking Big

Last week we raced our first international regatta, Sailing World Cup Miami. We sailed 12 races over 4 days and came away in 14th out of 16. For those of you following results that may have seemed like a hard blow to all the work we have been putting in on the water these past few months, but at no point did we take SWC Miami as a blow. We pulled our boat up the ramp every afternoon grinning and are feeling energized as ever to keep pushing on the water. As far as we are concerned right now results don't matter. We have a plan in place, our "Big Picture Process", that is focused on just that, the BIG picture (i.e. the path to Tokyo 2020), and that's what matters, not our result in the first event of the first year of that process.

So, here it is: the four year plan, the Big Picture Process:

Year one Objective (that's where we are now): Learn as much as we can about the boat and how people are sailing it. This means logging hours and hours on the water and trying as many things as possible; and that's exactly what we are doing. This january we spent 60 hours on the water (most teams average about 45 a month at this phase of the quad) and have been nailing down our upwind speed and maneuvers with lots of on the water drills and theory discussions on land..READ MORE!

So long, and thanks for all the wind - Kate Shaner and Caroline Atwood

Our month in the Bay is over and we are moving on to the next regatta, the Canadian Olympic Classes Regatta in Kingston (CORK). There we will be sailing against other FX's for the first time all summer (woo) and take part in another US Sailing Olympic Development Program clinic. We are really looking forward to training and competing at CORK but we are going to miss the Bay.

The training conditions here have been incredible. Not once in our month and two days of sailing out of Richmond Yacht Club did we have to take a land day because of a lack of wind and only once did we decide that it was too windy to continue our training session. We got experience in a myriad of wave states from short chop to three foot breakers, and we got to practice in everything from zero to two knots of current.

Family selfie with the Moodys. Thank you guys!

What we are really going to miss about the Bay though is the people. We could not have asked for more supportive, welcoming, and helpful people to have spent the last month around and we consider ourselves so incredibly lucky for that. Contrary to what we told our parents at the time, the whole "plan" to go sail in the Bay was loose at best, and we mostly made things up as we went along. Honestly we just sort of showed up in the RYC parking-lot, smiled, and it all seemed to work out. It is only now, as we are writing this reflection of the training block that we are realizing all the little (and also really big) pieces that fell in to place for us because of the amazing people here. There are some big thank yous for us to throw out here. (READ MORE!)

2016 49er Worlds, Clearwater Florida

This year's 49er and FX worlds was the first held in the Continental United States. Athletes from all over the world decended on Clearwater to contend for the last major championship before the Rio Olympics. Several Olympic berths were on the line and the event was hotly contested by 220 competitors. A variety of conditions challenged the fleet. Over 30 masts were broken at the event! The Clearwater Community Sailing Center did an outstanding job hosting the massive regatta which included the 47 boat Nacra 17 worlds.


Congratulations to Thomas Barrows and Joe Morris for finishing 23rd at the World Championships and 13th at the ISAF World Cup in Maimi. Barrows and Morris secured a berth for the USA and will be representing us at the Olympic Games in Rio!

Paris Henken and Hellena Scutt  qualified for the Olympic games in the 49er FX with a 17th at the World Cup in Miami 13th at the World Championships! This will be the inagural Olympic Games for the 49er FX class.


A special congratulations to former 49er sailor, moth world champion and and SSF grantee Bora Gulari who will be representing the USA in the Nacra 17 Class with Louisa Chafee.

2015 49er World Championship Buenos Aires, Argentina

World Championships are the opportunity to compare our progress against the very best in the world. You can guarantee that everyone is putting their best foot forward; using their best equipment and their best preparation, a no holds barred effort is expected. The Worlds are the ultimate progress report to be used as a tool to focus the next phase of training and preparation.
Two months before the beginning of our upcoming Olympic selection trials, we competed in the 2015 49er World Championship in Buenos Aires. After six days of racing, we were the second ranked American team by just one position

Read More from David Liebenburg and Dan Morris!

Kate Shaner

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Caroline Atwood

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Grant Application




Since 2002, The Skiff Sailing Foundation has supported Olympic Campaigns in the 49er class. Please browse above to learn about our current campaigns and consider getting involved! We are looking for Volunteers and Donors to make Olympic dreams come to life!

The 49er is a fast, challenging boat to sail. Top competitors retiring from the 49er have gone on to drive America's Cup boats, compete in the Volvo Ocean Races, and can be found on the podium at many top level sailing events.

The value of a campaign extends beyond the Olympic Games as young sailors develop skills to last a lifetime. These skills are passed down through local sailing fleets.