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St. Francis Yacht Club becomes first 2012 Gold Medal Partner Club

by Marni Lane on 18 Mar 2010
Courtesy St Francis Yacht Club
St. Francis Yacht Club (San Francisco, Calif.) is the first yacht club to become a gold medal partner yacht club of the Olympic Sailing Program for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, US Sailing announced today. Their generous $75,000 pledge to the program exemplifies their long-standing commitment to Olympic sailing and dedicated leadership in the sport.

Based on the success of US Sailing’s Medalist Donor Program, which raised more than $2 million from individual donors leading up to the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Olympic Sailing Program’s new and expanded yacht club partnership is a valuable opportunity for the leading clubs in the United States to directly support the national effort to perform at the Games.

'St. Francis Yacht Club is on the leading edge among clubs who are committed to the Olympic Sailing Program,' said Olympic Sailing Chairman Dean Brenner (Wallingford, Conn.). 'We are grateful for their overwhelmingly generous support, which will have a direct impact on our athletes who are devoting these four years of their lives to training for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.'

'The St. Francis Yacht Club has a tradition of Olympic involvement dating to the gold medal of member Owen Churchill in 1932,' commented Commodore David Sneary (San Francisco, Calif.). 'We remain committed to encouraging sailors to fulfill their potential and dreams through Olympic and Paralympic competition in the sport.'

St. Francis Yacht Club 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, the club hosted the US Olympic Sailing Trials. Leading up to the 2008 Games, the club made a generous gift to the program, while providing individual assistance to individual Olympic hopefuls and members of the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. In August, 2008, the club, alongside the team’s title sponsor, AlphaGraphics, 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 also have deep Olympic class roots and have embarked on their own Olympic sailing journeys. Notable Olympians are: Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.), the 2008 Olympic silver medalist in the Finn class; John Kostecki, (Novato, Calif.), Will Baylis (Tiburon, Calif.) and Bob Billingham (Grass Valley, Calif.), the 1988 Olympic silver medalists in the Soling class; Pam Healy (Tiburon, Calif.), the 2000 Olympic bronze medalist in the Women’s 470; Kent Massey (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Jim Barton (Kentfield, Calif.), the 1996 Olympic bronze medalists in the Soling class; Paul Cayard (Kentfield, Calif.), who finished fifth place in the Star class in 2004; and Russ Silvestri (Tiburon, Calif.) who finished fifth place in the Finn class in 2000. In addition to Railey, other St. Francis Yacht Club members of the 2010 US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics are Claire Dennis (Saratoga, Calif.), Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) and Genny Tulloch (San Francisco, Calif.).

For more information about the Club Partner Program, please visit US Sailing’s web site: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/Support/Club_Partner.htm

US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, please visit: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org.
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