Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Here We Go!

Photo by Fried Elliott.
by Kate Sheahan, West Coast Tour Coordinator

After traveling around the world, I have come to realize that some of the best sailing is right here at home on the West Coast. I am thrilled to get on the road again as the US Sailing West Coast Tour Coordinator and look forward to covering the classic, the quirky, and the extreme as I hit all the stops between San Diego and the Gorge this summer. I will be participating at regattas, junior clinics, community outreach programs, STEM workshops, enrichment seminars and the America’s Cup – and want to hear from you!

As a high school racing coach for over ten years I have shared many “first days” with new sailors. It is the independence of the outdoors, freshness of the water and wind, challenge of facing a fleet and testing ones tactics, and the burst of excitement that comes with a leg sailed well, or simply the perfect roll tack, that makes you want more. It becomes a lifestyle with new lessons taken from every outing, classes to explore and even more venues. It happens on a world scale and although the languages may be different, there is a universal understanding of the sport that unites diverse participants and creates automatic kinships between people who might otherwise never intersect.

I recently completed a graduate thesis focused on the idea of providing physical therapy for disabled war veterans through non-impact, water-based sports, such as sailing. A non-clinical setting, leveraging the therapeutic qualities of nature is creating profound results, new hope, and needed laughs. Sailing, as an adaptive sport, is just another facet of the innovative and inclusive culture of sailing.

Ten years later, most of the high school sailors I mentioned have gone on to race in college, become coaches themselves, start Olympic campaigns, study engineering and robotics to push technology for the sport, and several will compete in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup this summer in San Francisco. Once a sailor, always a sailor, no matter what path you choose. Each generation seems to show a generosity of spirit towards the next – improving the sport’s legacy and growing its community.

Follow me as I set out to tell the narrative of west coast sailing through images and interviews and reveal where and how to get started sailing. I will walk you through US Sailing’s resources, all created to help any sailor sharpen their rules knowledge, increase safety and seamanship through certification programs, and expand the learning process through industry experts. Follow me here on the US Sailing Blog with regular updates on Twitter.

See you on the water!



  1. Kate - You're invited to visit the Stockton Sailing Club youth Learn to Sail summer program. Select the Learn to Sail tab at to learn more.

  2. Hello, Kate--

    Please stop by the San Francisco Model Yacht Club; even though our Spreckels Lake is drained for repairs now, it will be full again for the National Championship Regattas for the Infinity and Santa Barbara one-design classes in late August-early September. Also stop by the model yacht pond at the America's Cup Village on theMarina Green--we sail there on race days: Tuesday, Thursday, Sat and Sun in July. Michael