(from Annika Garrett and Cassie
Obel [January 2014])
(from Gavin McJones [January
(from Jessica McJones [January
(from Cooper Weisz [January
(from Isaac Yelchin [August
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
By the way, I am busy trying to recruit newbies from my school to
take up sailing!
(from Cassie Obels 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
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
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.
(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.
(from the UCLA Sailing Team [May 2013])
(from Emilia Clementi
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!
(from Allie Blecher [Jan. 2013])
(from Nikki Obel [Jan. 2013])
(from Cassie Obel [Jan. 2013])
(from Finn Weeks )
(from Nikki Obel )
(from Phoebe Staff )
(from Michael Hanson )
(from Simone Staff )
(from King Harbor Sea Fair
(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
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
(from Mimi and Sydney)
(from Nashon and Aaron)