Monday, April 12, 2010

Junior day in Seattle

The kids came out in force on Sunday afternoon at the Seattle Yacht Club to meet the BMW ORACLE Racing team and talk about all things America's Cup.

(All images courtesy Neil Rabinowitz)

In a crowd approaching 100 (there were quite a few parents in there too!), the America's Cup trophy was front and centre as the juniors grilled the panel in an engaging Q+A session.

Tactician John Kostecki and bowman Brad Webb, design coordinator Ian Burns and designer Paul Bieker, along with Chris Sitzenstock from the build team were asked about everything from the difference between the wing sail and soft sail, to how they started their careers.

Tom Ehman was on hand to preside over the session and direct the deluge of questions from junior sailors like Adam Krzeszowski, an 11 year old Optimist sailor, who wanted to know why the team elected to build a trimaran for its Deed of Gift battle against Alinghi.

Following the Q+A session, the guys happily signed posters and engaged in some one on one banter with the kids in what was a very enjoyable experience for both the juniors and the team.

Then, in the evening, there was the more formal programme for a sold out house. Videos, more Q+A and perhaps most importantly, an auction of team gear and memorabilia to raise money for junior sailing, with Staff Commodore Chris Otorowski presiding. The grand total approached $10 000 raised, with a spot as 'ninth man' on board BMW ORACLE Racing at the RC 44 regatta in Copenhagen the biggest ticket item.

It's been a great weekend for the team in the Pacific Northwest and we'd like to extend an enormous thank you to everyone involved in Anacortes and Seattle.