Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Often rivals on the race course, Melges 32 class pillars Jason Carroll of Argo, and the DeVos family of Volpe and Delta have teamed up to provide an experience of a lifetime for a select group of young sailors called “Project Sail.”
Beginning with the first event of the 2015-16 Blue Water Series (BWS), at the Melges 32 U.S. National Championship in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on December 4-6, eight young sailors will be handed the keys to a top-flight Melges 32. They will jump on the race course and begin the learning process of what it takes to compete in a grand prix racing environment. Joining the young sailors as on-board coach and main trimmer, is longtime Melges 32 sailor Marty Kullman.
Hoping to help bridge the gap between post-junior/college sailing and entering into a grand prix racing arena, the goal is to provide a racing experience that otherwise might be not be possible.
“Ideally we would like to see these sailors put forth a lot of effort, improve their skills, work within a team, be competitive and ultimately, have a valuable experience that will help open doors for them in the future,” commented Kullman. “I think by the end of the first regatta, we will have learned a tremendous amount, and hopefully surprise a few of the other Melges 32 teams.”
Chosen through a selection process from Macatawa Bay, Larchmont and Lauderdale yacht clubs, Team Hydra will meet for the first time in Ft. Lauderdale for two days of training prior to Nationals. Along with Coach Kullman, the team includes Morgan Kiss, Mac Agnese, Lexi Petters, Mitchell Kiss, Alex Post, Alex Brown, Matt Kaplan and Henry Fernberger. Chosen by the sailors, the name Team Hydra will embody their journey and serve as the first rallying point as a team.
Selected to helm is 2015 Female College Sailor of the Year Morgan Kiss. She has raced a lot of different boats during her successful junior and college sailing years, but never has she held the tiller in a fleet like this. “Coming from college sailing, I am really excited about the tight racing in the Melges 32 fleet, and the opportunity to learn from the pros and experienced sailors in the class,” commented Kiss about the upcoming experience. “I have only sailed on a Melges 32 as a floater so it will be a big transition to helm. Having an opportunity to drive in such a competitive fleet is very unique and I’m looking forward to challenge!”
Competing as a Corinthians, Team Hydra will have a steep learning curve, but will use the tools that have made them successful up to this point to improve throughout the event and be a contender. “Our first step was finding a team name!” commented Kullman. “We have a great group of young sailors and there is no better class of boat to give them a valuable experience in their sailing journeys than the Melges 32.”
Founded on youth and power-packed, Team Hydra will be competing against eleven other very competitive teams for the 2015 U.S. National and Corinthian Championship titles.