Oakcliff Partners With Olympic Team

Oakcliff Partners With Olympic Team

Written by Patricia Aitken, oysterbay@antonnews.com

Wednesday, 28 August 2013 11:00

There was tremendous excitement in Oyster Bay as the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider announced a partnership with Oakcliff Sailing. Oakcliff has been named an official training center of the team.

Through the generous support of Oakcliff founder Hunt and Betsy Lawrence, Oakcliff will acquire 24 Olympic class boats – eight each of the Nacra 17, 49er and 49er FX skiffs – that the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider will have full access to for team-level training and youth development throughout the year.

“We are thrilled to have Oakcliff as a partner and grateful for the support of Hunt and Betsy Lawrence in the U.S. effort to create winning national teams at all levels of Olympic class sailing,” said Josh Adams, managing director of U.S. Olympic Sailing. “Oakcliff’s fleet-building effort in the Nacra 17, 49er and 49er FX is a tremendous asset for the U.S. Olympic Sailing Program, providing a training platform for US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider that is designed to help generate a performance edge in these classes.”

In addition to US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider training, the center will host US Sailing Development Team training camps, and focus on regional and national youth development in multihulls and skiffs through Oakcliff’s sailing programs.

“Oakcliff is excited to be working with US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider,” said Dawn Riley, executive director at Oakcliff. “We welcome the opportunity to help train the best in the world and in conjunction with our Acorn and Sapling programs led by Jay Kehoe, identify and coach the next generation of Olympic champions.”

By owning and operating fleets of multihulls and skiffs, the center will focus on four primary goals: provide a training ground for US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider; power development of three Olympic classes in which the U.S. lacks fleet size; create an avenue of training and development for young sailors on the rise; and expand Oakcliff’s sailing programs to feature Olympic class boats.

The very special and unique quality of this program is the support Oakcliff will be providing to sailors who hope to compete at the Olympic level. Josh Adams of US Olympic Sailing said that a program of suppling training vessels had never been done before in this country. Trevor Moore, a member of the United States Sailing team, said that the service Oakcliff will be providing is massive. Usually, sailing teams have to provide their own boats and equipment. For aspiring Olympic competitors, to have to bear the financial burden of supporting a boat, and train at the competitive level, is a very stressful situation. Oakcliff will provide boats for sailors, so they can devote all their time and energy to training.

Moore is excited to think of the broader reach that the Olympic program will now have, and the depth of sailors that will be able to compete at the Olympic level. American athletes had been going to Europe to train, and now, he believes they will be coming to Oyster Bay and Oakcliff.  

Oakcliff is very well known in the international sailing community for its match sailing and America’s Cup competition. In speaking to visiting sailors at the event, all spoke of what a wonderful town Oyster Bay is, its history, beautiful natural setting and the sailing community that is being built around Oakcliff, the WaterFront Center, and the yacht clubs here.  The future for sailing looks extremely bright.  

As Betsy Lawrence said at the conference, “We are making history here.”

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