First Time for WHAT?

May 14, 2017

Commentary and photos by Kimball Livingston

Strange things happen on the San Francisco cityfront. Waves like moguls. Currents running faster than most people swim. A US Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year having her first race on a boat?


Daniela Moroz was 15 years old when she won the women’s world championship of kite-foil racing and was nominated for the Rolex title. Over the weekend, at the ripe age of 16, she spent two days sailing Nacra 15 catamarans and called it “a lot of fun.” Welcome to the other side, Daniela.

She was all smiles at the dock . . .

Nacra 15s are now a World Sailing youth boat, and with a few scattered exceptions, as noted by volunteer coach Pete Melvin (Morrelli & Melvin), the six boats that sailed last weekend are, for now, “the US fleet” of this four-month-old class. Its C-shaped foils provide lift but do not make it “fly” like its Olympic-bound Nacra 17 cousin. Not to worry. There were kids as young as thirteen sailing from the wire with spinnakers up in a proof-of-concept weekend for what the future could look like on the San Francisco cityfront. How to treat speed addiction is a problem best addressed, perhaps, with more speed.

Spirits were high and (while we’re dropping names) Olympic medalist Pamela Healy told the 29 participants in this kickoff Nacra 15 Clinic–they spent the weekend rotating through six boats -“Someone in this group will be going to the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires in 2018.”

In politics that’s called, throwing red meat.

Volunteer Corinthian coaches Mike Martin and Craig Healy joined for the debriefing inside St. Francis Yacht Club’s junior wing, where head coach Bryan Paine of Ullman Sails put a simple but true bottom line on the rapid-fire races of the clinic’s second day: “It was an action-packed five hours.” And those five hours came with head-over-heels improvements in timing starts, calling laylines and greasing through maneuvers.

Fourteen-year-old Jonah asked his coach, “How can I keep doing this?”

I hope I mentioned, it was good.

Suns New Jerseys