by Dana Paxton
Building on its support of the 2012 US Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Program, the St. Francis Yacht Club has now become the first gold medal partner yacht club of the 2013-2016 Olympic cycle. The club’s charitable donation of $100,000 to the program demonstrates its leadership in the sport of sailing and dedication to the Olympic movement.
US Sailing Team logo
'The US Olympic Sailing Program has a very generous friend in the membership of St. Francis Yacht Club,' said Dean Brenner (Wallingford, Conn.), Chairman, Olympic Sailing Committee. 'Their significant donation allows our Olympic and Paralympic athletes to devote more time on the water in pursuit of medals. We are grateful for the club’s leadership and steadfast involvement in Olympic sailing in the U.S.'
'The St Francis Yacht Club is delighted to continue its tradition of supporting US Sailing's Olympic Sailing Program and of helping produce fine Olympic athletes,' said Peter Stoneberg, Commodore, St. Francis Yacht Club. 'We thank the America One Foundation and St. Francis Sailing Foundation for their support of our Gold Level partnership with US Olympic Sailing.'
St. Francis YC has a long history of generously supporting the Olympic Sailing Program. The club has hosted several world and national Olympic class championships, and in 2000, it hosted the U.S. Olympic Sailing Trials. Leading up to the 2008 and 2012 Games, the club made a generous gift to the program, while providing individual assistance to individual Olympic hopefuls and members of US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. In 2008, the club hosted a farewell dinner for the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team before they headed to Qingdao, China, the venue of the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Sailing competitions.
Members of the club have deep Olympic class roots, including notable Olympians:
- Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.), 2008 Olympic silver medalist in the Finn class
- John Kostecki (Novato, Calif.), Will Baylis (Tiburon, Calif.) and Bob Billingham (Grass Valley, Calif.), 1988 Olympic silver medalists in the Soling class
- Pam Healy (Tiburon, Calif.), 2000 Olympic bronze medalist in the Women’s 470
- Kent Massey (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Jim Barton (Kentfield, Calif.), 1996 Olympic bronze medalists in the Soling class
- Paul Cayard (Kentfield, Calif.), who finished fifth place in the Star class in 2004
- Russ Silvestri (Tiburon, Calif.) who finished fifth place in the Finn class in 2000
In addition to Zach Railey, other St. Francis Yacht Club members of the 2012 US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider are:
- Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.)
- Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.)
- Molly Vandemoer (Stanford, Calif.)
- Genny Tulloch (San Francisco, Calif.)
Since 2010, US Sailing’s Medalist and Yacht Club Partner programs have raised over $2.5 million in support of USA’s most promising sailors in the 10 Olympic and three Paralympic classes selected to compete in the Games. For more information about the Club Partner Program, please visit US Sailing’s website.