The Sailing Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Andrew Nelson to the newly-created position of Youth Sailing Director. With this appointment, the Foundation is beginning a major expansion of its support of competitive youth sailing programs in the Pacific Northwest. To our knowledge, the Pacific Northwest is the first region in the USA to have a full-time Youth Sailing Director. This expansion of the Foundation’s program for youth has been made possible by generous and substantial donations.
Two goals have been set for the Youth Sailing Director: to expand the opportunities for youth to race sailboats and to raise the overall level of competitive youth racing so that our teams are more competitive nationally.
The appointment of Andrew Nelson follows a nationwide search for candidates that resulted in fifteen applications for the position from as far away as Florida and Massachusetts. Seven applicants were interviewed by the Foundation’s Youth Sailing Committee.
Andrew Nelson, 27, is a graduate of Western Washington University, where he was Captain of the sailing team and awarded the Pete McKillop Sportsmanship Award and the Student Leadership Award by the Northwest Intercollegiate Sailing Association. His father introduced him to sailing on a Cal 40 on Puget Sound, and he began dinghy racing at WWU. After graduating he coached the Race Team at the Balboa Yacht Club in Newport Beach, CA for two summers before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area. There he served as Youth Sailing Director for the Encinal Yacht Club in Alameda, CA from 2011 through August of this year. His duties there included managing staff, developing and implementing curriculum, advertising, fundraising, conducting regattas
and, most important, directing a youth program that served 250 Bay Area sailors annually. In 2013 the Encinal Yacht Club program that Andrew was directing received the Nimitz Award for the most outstanding junior sailing program on San Francisco Bay.
In his new position with The Sailing Foundation, Andrew will work to increase participation and raise the competitive level in summer youth sailing programs, high
school sailing teams and collegiate sailing teams, as well as assist with The Sailing Foundation’s regional performance clinics for youth sailors.