Thank you notes

Thank you notes to SMBSF


(from Grant, Summer 2015)


(from Dot, Summer 2105)DotO-2015

(from Jessica, Summer 2015)JessicaM-2015

(from Melissa, Summer 2015)


(from Annika [June 2015])

Annika-cisaDear SMBSF,
Thank you for funding my trip to the CISA Clinic. I enjoyed being able to work with two potential USA 470 Olympic sailors, Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha. At the clinic, I was able to try new techniques that improved my efficiency. It was my third year participating in the clinic and I was happy that we were able to show our progress as sailors by winning the 420 division at the clinic. All of our success would not be possible without the support of the Santa Monica Bay Sailing Foundation.
Thanks again,

(from Cassie and Dot [Spring 2015])2015-Cassie-and-Dot


(from Sidney [Spring 2014])



(from Kyle and Megan [Spring 2014])



(from Emilia [March 2014])


(from Cassie [March 2014])

Thank you so much for supporting me and my crew, Christophe Killian, to go to C420 midwinters in Jensen Beach, Florida. This was a great regatta for us—we placed fourth out of ninety-five boats. We saw a variety of conditions: the first day had winds up to twenty-five knots, and then the next two days were up to ten knots. Although Christophe and I had never sailed 420s together, we worked really well together and especially enjoyed the heavy wind. We moved up consistently throughout the regatta, in sixth after the first day, fifth after the second day, and finishing in fourth. We were so thankful to be able to attend this regatta. Thank you so much!
Cassie Obel

(from Jessica [February 2014])


(from Gavin [January 2014])


(from Annika Garrett and Cassie Obel [January 2014])

(from Gavin McJones [January 2014])

(from Jessica McJones [January 2014])

(from Cooper Weisz [January 2014])

(from Isaac Yelchin [August 2013])

Dear Santa Monica Bay Sailing Foundation,

It means so much to me that you continue to fund my sailing. Because of SMBSF’s fantastic support, I was able to sail all summer and I won the award for “Most Improved.” I couldn’t have done this without you. I just enjoy being in a boat so much; I feel it completes me. This summer I sailed three days a week, two days in a laser and one in an fj. I received excellent coaching perspectives that changed my sailing style for the better. I have found a year-round crew and I have started to become a competitor. The summer camp at CYC is fantastic, the coaching is excellent, and the camp is fun all around. On my days off I would get bored and yearn for the wind in my sails. Again I want to say thank you so much. If there is ever any opportunity for me to help you get your message out or volunteer, please let me know. By the way, I am busy trying to recruit newbies from my school to take up sailing!
Thanks again,
Isaac Yelchin

(from Cassie Obel and Annika Garrett [July 2013])


Thank you so much for funding my crew Annika Garrett and me to go to the Neill Clinic in Chicago. Headed by the Stanford coach John Vandemoer (the Yale, Georgetown, University of Rhode Island, Northwestern, and Cornell coaches were also there) and attended by top C420 teams from around the country, this clinic was an incredibly valuable experience: not only did we learn from both coaches and other sailors, but we met so many new people and made so many new friends that we will know throughout the rest of our sailing careers. Although the lack of wind and other weather obstacles like fog did not cooperate with the coaches’ original plans, we still utilized our time wisely and created it into a very worthwhile experience.

At the beginning of the clinic, the coaches separated the twenty-four boats into three groups based on resumé; we worked with these groups but rotated coaches for the first three days of the regatta. Lake Michigan’s flukey conditions surprised us SoCal sailors: the wind would pick up and then completely shut off within a matter of minutes. The boat traffic on the first day of the clinic, a Sunday, created chop that challenged everyone even more when the wind shut off. Our morale in the boat remained high when a coach commented when we were speed testing that these conditions must be similar to what we often see at home because we were so fast!

Each night the clinic organizers planned interesting sailing-related activities for us. That evening, professionals from the Chicago Match Racing center took us out that on the center’s boats to match race, and we then had dinner at the center.

The following day, a heavy fog that settled over the lake did not allow us to sail that morning (our coaches didn’t want anyone to get lost!), but we sailed the whole afternoon. We had dinner and a question panel with the coaches that night. My favorite nighttime activity though was the presentation by Ken Reed, a two-time Volvo Ocean Race sailor who captivated and inspired all of us with his fascinating talk about his 135 day regatta.

For the fourth day of the clinic, the regatta, we separated into random groups — Zach Leonard, the coach from Yale, coached ours. We sailed well in the light wind, but we were still at our light wind setting when the wind picked up suddenly, so we had some trouble during the one heavy wind race. After four races, we ended up 8th out of 24 overall, but we definitely learned the most from the heavy wind race that we didn’t do well!

Then, when we were supposed to fly home that night, a lightning storm hit Chicago and our flight was cancelled; this was my first time ever seeing an actual lightning bolt! Being able to go to such an amazing city (with crazy weather patterns!) to sail with and be coached by top sailors in the country was an incredible opportunity, and we would not have been able to do this without your help.

Also, the clinic prepared us well for Newport Beach’s light and choppy conditions at the Ida Lewis Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship. After three days of racing, we were happy to end up second out of thirty-nine boats! Thank you so much for your support for our junior sailing.
Sincerely, Cassie Obel

(from Emelia Clementi [July 2013])


Thank you so much for your help! I had a wonderful time in Rhode Island at the Brooke Gonzalez Clinic, and I wouldn’t have been able to go without your support. I learned so much from all of the amazing coaches and filled an entire notebook with notes. It was a great opportunity to sail on the East coast for the first time, and I was appropriately challenged by the sailing conditions.

The first 3 days we worked on boat handling and boat speed. As I have just started sailing club 420’s, it was great to get more comfortable with the boat. I got better at maintaining my speed and not pinching. After a full day out on the water we would have “power talks”
while we ate dinner. In these 20 minute lessons, we would talk about informative topics such as how to get a great first race. With tips from these lessons I developed a pre-race routine, which has helped me focus before races and get to know the course.

With all of knowledge I gained at this clinic, I feel ready for Junior Olympics in a couple weeks. I finally feel like my sailing career is taking off thanks to your generous  contributions.

Emilia Clementi

(from Isaac Yelchin [June 2013])


Thank you so much for giving me this wonderful opportunity to sail all year. I have had tremendous amounts of fun and I have learned so much. I cannot stress enough how thankful I am for this, because of you, sailing has become passion. I feel out of place on land and crave the feeling of being out on the sea. Putting on my gloves and hopping into the FJ as we launch is the moment when I feel truly alive. We sail up the channel and the wind is strong, spray comes up from our hull and soaks my crew. It is too much fun, thank you, thank you.

Now I have been sailing for the Crossroads high school team and we have been going
to many events around So Cal. This has been a new and incredibly exciting experience; I wish I was at a regatta now. I have made friends and, of course, sailed as much as I could.

Thanks again, and please if there is anything I can do to help you out, volunteer work, boat maintenance, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Thank you,
Isaac Yelchin

(from the UCLA Sailing Team [May 2013])

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(from Frank Dair [May 2013])

(from Gavin Abraham [May 2013])

(from Annika Garrett [May 2013])

(from Emilia Clementi [Jan. 2013])

Dear Santa Monica Bay Sailing Foundation,
Thank you so much for accepting my grant request. This grant means
very much to me and my sailing career! You have truly made a difference!
Thank you again!
Emilia Clementi

(from Simone Staff and parents [Jan. 2013])

(from Nathan Jamieson [Jan. 2013])

(from Allie Blecher [Jan. 2013])

(from Nikki Obel [Jan. 2013])

(from Cassie Obel [Jan. 2013])

(from Finn Weeks [2012])

(from Nikki Obel [2012])

(from Phoebe Staff [2012])

(from Michael Hanson [2012])

(from Simone Staff [2012])

(from King Harbor Sea Fair [2012])

(from Cassie and Annika)

(from Mimi and Sydney)

My skipper Mimi Paz and I would like to thank you for supporting our trip to Lake Minnetonka, MN so that we could participate in the legendary Ida Lewis clinic and regatta. Upon arrival, we knew that it was a very special event. We were very fortunate to have access to brand new equipment, professional coaches, and to be among a great group of girls all serious about the sport of sailing. The two days of clinic taught us so much about lake sailing and tuning, and the three race days were the most fun and rewarding we could remember. The fantastic environment allowed us to maintain our focus throughout all five days, and we moved up consistently through the regatta, even winning a race on the second day and ending up in 6th place overall. This event was
an extremely gratifying event for our team and the others whose journeys SMBSF supported.

Without your generous grant, this once in a lifetime experience would not have been possible. Thank you so much for your outstanding support.

Mimi Paz and Sydney Avitia-Jacques
(skipper) (crew)

(from William)

(from Allie)

(from Mimi and Sydney)

(from Janel)

(from Gavin)

(from Nikki)

(from Frankie)

(from Finn)

(from Cooper)

(from Cassie)

(from Nashon and Aaron)

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