60 days to go until the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony!
Since Palma and the Europeans in Barcelona ending in mid-April, we have been to New York City twice, done two four-day training camps in San Diego, and one training camp in Rio de Janeiro. Helena has also spoken at Seattle Yacht Club and St Francis Yacht Club, both to members and their junior race teams. Here’s more detail:
We couldn’t have been happier during our two four-day training camps in San Diego. Fueled by burritos, we logged many hours in perfect sunshine and medium breeze. We also tried to stay out of the Navy SEALs’ way! During the first camp we buzzed by the college sailing Pacific Coast Championships and during the second camp we flew by the ICSA Collegiate National Coed Championship to cheer on the College of Charleston and Stanford. Thank you to Sam Merson, John Horton, Andrew Person, Michael Sabourin, Sammy Herrin, and the Wilsons for lending us boats that made such productive practice happen, and to Evan, Dane, Quinn, Sam, and John for training with us!
In the next two weeks, we went to New York City twice, and both events were surely worth the travel. First, we were invited to attend Team USA’s “100 Days Out” celebration in Times Square. We mingled with sponsors and Team USA supporters at the Museum of Modern Art, hooted and hollered on the TODAY Show, were an arms length away from FLOTUS Michelle Obama, and danced the busy day away with The Band Perry. The best part was meeting our fellow Olympians and Paralympians, and hearing their passion for their sports.
Upon returning from New York, I went straight from the airport to Seattle Yacht Club, where we had a fundraiser that I spoke at. It felt amazing to share the story of qualifying since my last presentation there in late October. I was blown away by the generosity of the members and friends in attendance. It meant so much to me and my family to see friends, high school teachers, new acquaintances, and Olympic medalists Bill Buchan and Brian Ledbetter. Thank you SYC!
Our second trip to New York City was for the Sailing Foundation of New York’s Golden Spinnaker Gala, a fundraiser for the US Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Teams that raised over $252,000. Once again we were floored by the generosity. People truly stepped up to our cause and we are truly honored. Thank you SFNY and NYYC!
At the annual US Sailing Team Sperry awards, it was cool to hear from Jimmy Spithill and we were also thrilled to win the team’s “Commercial and Media Award”. It is our hope that sharing our journey will inspire more young American sailors.
The next evening we flew straight to Rio de Janeiro. It felt so good to be back and this time, to know that we would be competing here in August. We logged 12 days on the water in various conditions, and more rainy, overcast days that usual. We accomplished a lot: racing for four days on the Olympic courses, hiking Itacoatiara mountain again, getting better and better at Muay Thai (kickboxing), and studying the current on our racecourses.
Last week I spoke at St Francis Yacht Club at the Wednesday Yachting Luncheon and again to the junior race team. This was my last presentation before the Olympics, as now we are in full-on focus mode.
There has been lots of press for us recently, including a couple of videos:
NBC Bay Area: Stanford Super Sailor Heading to Rio
Yesterday we wrapped up our second San Diego training camp. We are excited to fly to Rio tomorrow and get back in the groove down there. This training camp will be focused on equipment selection and preparation – choosing the fastest kit.
The rest of the time before the Games will be one more training camp in Rio (Jul 3-17) and time at home in Seattle. At this point, the gains will be mostly mental, and in communication on the water.
Avasol sunscreen has been saving our faces in sunny Rio and San Diego – if you’re looking for an all-natural, effective sunscreen for summer, now you know our recommendation! If you’re looking for a Father’s Day gift, our code PARISHELENAUSA saves you 40% on Spinnaker Watches!
We are excited to announce that Oakley is a new sponsor of ours! Thank you to our travel sponsor, Expedia, the St Francis Sailing Foundation, Seattle Yacht Club Foundation, and Northern California Olympians Foundation. Of course, thanks to the sponsors and supporters of the US Sailing Team Sperry, including Sunbrella, Harken, McLube Marine, and Group Bénéteau, and especially our title sponsor Sperry.
Follow us on Instagram: @parishenken, @helenas9, @mcbrideracing