At age 22, we have both spent at least half of our lives racing sailboats, and that means that we have spent at least half of our lives in the presence of some of the most influential people in our lives, our coaches. For us, coaches did more than tell us to trim in our sails. They welcomed us into the world of high performance sailing, challenged us, brought us through failure and to success, and made us the people we are today, as well as the sailors. So whenever we have the opportunity to coach we assume the responsibility to do what our coaches did for us, to deepen the sailing community that has given us so much, and to create a safe, inclusive, and inspiring space for young sailors to grow and learn. This past weekend we got the chance to work with a wonderful team of youth sailors out of Seattle Yacht Club and can only hope that we lived up to our responsibility.
Skiff sailing is hard, and starting out in skiff sailing is even harder. It's incredibly repetitive, you capsize, you get bruised, you get cold, you get wet, and the only way to get better is to right the boat, and do it again. We were lucky enough to work with a group of sailors this weekend who were truly committed to getting better. Over the course of the two day we worked with them the SYC Race Team reminded us of just how far determination and grit can get you in this sport. They maximized their learning potential both on and off the water and worked as a group to pull those below them up and push those above them even farther forward. As we move forward in our own training, working by ourselves and with other teams in the US, the standard set by these young sailors will be one we hold ourselves too as well. We will push ourselves, we will learn, and we will take as many opportunities as we can to strengthen the community that taught us how to do that, knowing that we are better for it as well.