Warrior Sailing

A special post Veteran’s Day tribute to Warrior Sailing

Warriors vying for the start line in their Sonars
Warriors vying for the start line in their Sonars

In addition to Brad Kendell’s Never Say Never Pirate Camp, Racing To Rio also features Paralympic gold medalist Jen French’s Warrior Sailing Program. The crew of Racing To Rio is ecstatic to film Jen and Warrior Sailing today, including interviews with the program director, Ben Poucher, and program advisor, Ralf Steitz.

Vietnam Vets sharing a moment under the sun.
Vietnam Vets sharing a moment under the sun.

Based in St. Petersburg and founded in 2013, the Warrior Sailing Program introduces disabled U.S veterans and active military to the sport of sailing. Participants go through a three-day training session that focuses on boating skills, as well as social skills. Jen says the program’s goal “is to share the spirit of sailing with our military warriors and teach them skills on the water and for a better quality of life.” The Barbaro-Gould Foundation is excited to provide more exposure for this worthy cause.

Ben Poucher giving the Warrior Sailing coaches their morning instructions.
Ben Poucher giving the Warrior Sailing coaches their morning instructions.

Program director, Ben Poucher, has a passion for nautical racing, having himself been part of the Skipper Icarus Racing (class 40) team for the 2011 and 2013 Atlantic World Cup. Most of his time is devoted to working with racing sailboat programs and the U.S Paralympic Sailing Team.

Ralf Steitz sharing his knowledge and joviality.
Ralf Steitz sharing his knowledge and joviality.

Program advisor, Ralf Steitz, is a veteran himself and the president of the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) Sailing Foundation, which helped Jen create Warrior Sailing with US Sailing. He has over 40 years of sailing experience, having taken part in many national and international competitions. A recipient of the Owen C. Torrey award for outstanding service and the Timothea LARR Award for lifelong contribution towards the advancement of sailor education, training and safety. Ralf eagerly passes on his sailing knowledge to the participants of Warrior Sailing.

Rich White from CCSC lending his hand as a coach.
Rich White from CCSC lending his hand as a coach.
Sonars jockeying for position around the buoys.
Sonars jockeying for position around the buoys.
Gene Hinkel doing what he does best.
Gene Hinkel doing what he does best.

The Racing To Rio crew is happy to interview these men and women, documenting the spirit of Warrior Sailing.

Packing up the Sonar's after a great day of sailing.
Packing up the Sonar’s after a great day of sailing.

 

 

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