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New Youth Racing Development Initiative formed

by Jake Fish on 12 Jul 2013
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US Sailing, the national governing body of the sport, and Clever Pig, a website designed specifically for aspiring youth and young adult sailors who wish to take their competitive sailing careers to a higher level, have formed a new partnership to reinforce their outreach to the youth sailing community by combining resources and sharing expertise.

In 2007, The Southport Sailing Foundation developed the original Clever Pig website with the goal of providing youth sailors with the information required to manage a successful campaign. The Foundation invested in a practical online program that would empower sailors to organize their own campaigns, and provide Clever Pig’s resources to all sailors at no cost.

Clever Pig provides the necessary guidance and direction for sailors at every step of the campaign process.
• Defining a successful campaign, how to get started, and setting expectations.
• How to select a coach with tips on what to look for and where to find the right coach.
• A coach finder database gives visitors the chance to learn more about coaches.
• Selecting a class and finding a teammate through a crew finder source.
• The latest training tips and developments in sports psychology to maximize results on the water.
• Information on campaign financing, fundraising, and applying for grants.

US Sailing, along with the Southport Sailing Foundation, Chicago Match Race Center, Sailing Foundation of New York, Junior Sailing Association of Long Island Sound, and California International Sailing Association (CISA), has pulled together an effective listing of services and programs to enhance the website for users from around the country.

The development of youth sailing in the United States is paramount at US Sailing. Young sailors in search of great competition, quality coaching instruction and a fun time on and off the water have been participating at US Sailing youth racing events for years. The USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival (JO) and the US Sailing Championships series collectively organize a combined 27 regattas around the country for youth sailors from June through December. These events are designed to promote the enjoyment of sailing, develop the skills of young sailors, and to provide a pathway for hopeful Olympic competitors. These events are often preceded by clinics conducted by coaches provided by US Sailing.

The Clever Pig program and website is managed by Amanda Clark, a member of the 2012 and 2008 US Olympic Teams as a skipper in the 470 class. Clark was also a standout racer in the youth and college ranks. She was a member of the U.S. Youth World Team from 1998 to 2000 and was twice named to the ICSA Women’s All-American Team as an elite sailor at Connecticut College. In 2001, she won the ICSA Singlehanded National Championship.

'I am excited to bring my experience from four Olympic campaigns to this site,' said Clark. 'Clever Pig should be a part of any racers routine. I know from my own experience that learning to manage the logistics of a campaign is the hardest part. I started fundraising for my sailing with my parents help at age 13 for my first international Optimist regatta. Without the generosity of sailing supporters I would never have made it to the Olympics. I am incredibly grateful and I recognize that now I have a chance to share my experience and broaden my US Sailing
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