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First time for WHAT?

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 spending the first weekend of her life racing boats?


Daniela Moroz was 15 years old when she won the women’s world championship of foiling kite 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 . . .

Daniela Moroz, foiling kite racing world champion and, at age 15, the youngest-ever (and current) Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year.

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, but 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 the six boats -“Someone in this group will be going to the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires in 2018.”

In politics that’s called throwing them some red meat.

Debriefing inside St. Francis Yacht Club’s junior wing, 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.



Kimball Livingston, author, lecturer, esteemed yachting journalist for decades, sailing leader (he is the immediate past commodore of the prestigious St. Francis Yacht Club) and longtime friend. Kimball will be a regular contributor to SAILING ILLUSTRATED.

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