Posts Tagged ‘sailor chick of the week’
Jennifer Hinkel shows that sailor chicks can inspire without dominating race results or wearing a bikini. For bravely sharing her own story of how sailing helped her get past cancer, she’s Sailing Anarchy’s Sailor Chick of the Week. Want to tell Jennifer (a/k/a Wingonwing) how sailing changed or saved your life? Do it in the thread. And read all about Jennifer’s story below, ripped from Medium.
Sailing and Cancer are not words found often in the same sentence. In fact, my “cancer life” and my “sailing life” were so contradictory that they seemed to never overlap — hence the beauty of putting the two together and founding a competitive sailing program for cancer survivors.
I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma at 17. I’m lucky in that Hodgkins is considered more curable than many other malignancies, especially if it is diagnosed before it has spread to the bone marrow. My cancer was treated with surgery and six months of chemotherapy; I had to delay college by a year, which I now jokingly call my “gap year independent study in the oncology experience.” In reality, I spent a good part of that year in bed, clinging precariously to life, seriously underweight, completely bald, and vomiting frequently.
When I finished chemotherapy and was declared free of cancer, my mom and dad planned a family sailing trip to the British Virgin Islands. Although it wasn’t my first time on a sailboat, it was the first time that I became truly interested in sailing as a sport. I found great solace in harnessing the wind for speed. In short, I soon discovered that while I had been successfully treated for cancer, I had caught another disease which has no cure — the “sailing bug”. That trip to the Caribbean was the start of a journey that would guide me, year by year, more seriously into the sport of sailing, from that first cruising experience through getting my charter skipper certifications, learning to race, participating in regattas in the US and Europe, and eventually buying my own boat and skippering a race team.
Many sailors claim that sailing keeps them sane. The positive impacts of sailing on mental health may be more literal than most believe; people often get “in the zone” when sailing or into what is scientifically called a “flow state”. In a flow state, focus and concentration are at their peak, to the point where a person loses feelings of self-consciousness, self-doubt, anxiety, and even physical discomfort. Repeatedly getting into flow states can help us become vastly happier, more productive, and mindful.
Cancer survivors often deal with significant after-effects of surgical, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. These effects can be physical in nature, including fatigue, pain, and neuropathy, as well as emotional, such as the fear of cancer recurrence and survivor’s guilt. These detrimental physical and emotional after-effects can hold people back from moving on from cancer and reclaiming their health and their lives. Many cancer survivors feel isolated, lonely, and as if they are looking for a new purpose in life. Forging a connection between sailing and cancer survivors starts to make infinite sense when you think about the healing effects of being in a flow state.
These same issues that cancer survivors face can be mediated by the experience of flow, and flow can be found in sailing. Sailing is also a sport that doesn’t require a high level of fitness to get started in, but can hugely improve physical ability, strength, and flexibility over time. Sailing is a team sport and has a welcoming global community; it’s difficult to feel lonely once you begin to meet fellow sailors. It’s possible to enjoy sailing as long as you live, and it can provide new, exciting goals or opportunities to pursue, whether it is cruising, racing, ocean crossing, or simply mastering new positions on the crew.
For me, sailing was a major factor in helping me find beauty and passion in my life after going through one of the worst and most terrifying experiences that a person can face. Through time spent on the sea, I’ve come to realize that we are limitless beings, able to cross oceans, harness the elements, travel in harmony with nature, and help each other push the boundaries beyond what we had ever thought was possible. I want to bring this passion to survivors who may be feeling limited by their experience with cancer and help them rediscover that the only limits are the ones we place on ourselves.
I chose the name Resilience Racing for this team because we all have our own stories of resilience. Life is a series of small changes and evolutions that often mean reinventing ourselves, overcoming adversity, and making a comeback. Cancer survivors understand the essence of resilience; most sailors do as well. I believe that through Resilience Racing, we can prove that we have not been limited by cancer and what it put us through, but instead that we are, as the great French sailor Florence Arthaud would say, “living to the limit”.
May 9th, 2015 by admin
At a scarily beautiful 18 years old, Lauren Gineo was one of the earliest Sailor Chicks of the Week. And now, nearly a decade later, the URI college racer, windsurfer, and longtime Gunboat crew is now our first-ever Sailor Mom of the Week. She’s sailing aboard the G55 Toccata with husband Adam this week, but she took the time to begin indoctrinating the next generation of high-performance sailor aboard the G4. Meet 8-month old helmsmen Ben, who will likely be Gunboat racing on Friday in Antigua, and almost definitely racing foiling boats in about 18 years.
April 30th, 2015 by admin
Clean’s obsession with Ted Kravitz’s Formula 1 ‘Notebook’ inspired his series of SA ‘Dock Walks’ this past year, and it’s quickly become a crowd favorite whether at the Melges Worlds, VOR starts, or Key West. Thankfully, awesome Aussie broadcaster Nic Douglass picked up the torch in Auckland, and her 40-minute dock walk gives you ‘the real feel’ of being an insider in a race like this as well as some shit you’d just never see otherwise. It’s long, it’s rambling, and it’s real – and quite a bit more interesting than the pretty but incredibly dull leg start…
Big thanks to Nic for sacrificing her spot on a start boat for this piece, and to photographer Jen Edney for making it all look good. Two sailor chicks of the week? Hell yes.
March 18th, 2015 by admin
Nebraska’s Jen Edney has been one of our favorite young photographers for the last couple of years, and her growth and maturity in the face of a nasty sailing accident last year has been phenomenal. Jen’s work has a uniqueness about it that’s hard to pinpoint, but a few minutes with her body of work shows that her onboard ‘human’ shots are some of the best we’ve ever seen in the sport. Jen will be working on some special projects surrounding the VOR over the next few months, but was embedded with Team Vestas Wind in Cape Town, and she put this story together for the Anarchists after the team’s recent drama. Go and like her Facebook Page for more about this exciting young Sailor Chick of the Week. And wish her a Happy Birthday while you’re at it.
The boats are gone. The village is empty. My friends, my ‘family’ are at sea. It’s a strange feeling after so much excitement, movement and anticipation over the past few weeks. Everyone is going about their daily lives as usual around me, but today, I am in another world. I find myself thinking about what my friends are eating for the next 25+ days while I eat breakfast. About the bashing they must have received overnight while I slept in the comforts of my own bed, feeling a tad guilty. I am thinking about my 30 hours+ of flight time home, realizing that I have it easy. Call me crazy but I am also thinking, “I wish I was out there with them.”
Back home, I open my eyes to see the bright orange and pink colors of a Nebraska sunrise, having stirred from yet another dream of open water and blue sky. It’s a recurring dream these days and a stark contrast to my landlocked location. The first thing I think about upon waking is my mates at sea and how they are getting along, but it is Thanksgiving morning and I have so much to be thankful for. This morning I am thankful for my ‘real’ family in the Midwest as well as my ‘sailing family.’
I thought about a recent experience I had during this past trip to Cape Town, when I was sitting in a circle of more than a dozen friends from all over the world; a night when I realized how special this sport can be. I was sitting across from a person who helped me with my first-ever sailing story seven years ago and who I credit for getting me into this mess that I’ve grown to live, love, and long for. As we all swapped stories from years past – stories that were in some cases older than I am! – nostalgia set in, and we talked about the way this race has really become life for so many. We talked about the Whitbread days, how the race has changed and grown, stories of sadness, joy, and drama. Nights barely remembered and nights whose impact will be felt for decades…we all have those.
Throughout the next 9 months, I will constantly be “changing colors” to tell my own stories of the Volvo Ocean Race. My loyalty and allegiance lies not with one team, but with the sailors…all of them. I’ve realized how special this opportunity is, and that is one that wouldn’t have existed in this way during the past few editions of the race. Everyone has talked about how ‘One Design’ has changed the dynamics of the race, making for the tightest racing in history and opening the door for more sailors to compete, but that’s not all that has changed. The race has nearly always been won by the best-designed yacht and in recent years by the team with the biggest budget, forcing the sailors to work extra hard behind closed doors. And now, the doors are all open; and the new feeling in the Boatyard, the team bases, the Sailor’s Terrace, the hotels, parties, and media centers is one of camaraderie and togetherness. It’s something that dominated many of the less professional days of the Whitbread, but it’s back – and the public, the sailors, and their families love it. Of course they do – that camaraderie is one of the things we all love about the sport, isn’t it?
This was most recently illustrated as Team Alvimedica diverted from the race to stand by and assist in the rescue of fellow Team Vestas Wind after they ran hard aground. Charlie Enright said, “The only thing that matters was that everyone was OK, they are our competitors and our friends but in addition to that we are each other’s support networks when we are sailing in remote corners of the world.” And anyone who watched Will Oxley’s wonderful radio chatter and interviews knows that there was nothing that he wouldn’t do to help save his friends, perched on a reef in the middle of the ocean.
It is moments like these that highlight this precious aspect of the sport. Humbling moments that remind us to stop, take a breath, look around, and truly appreciate and respect where we are, and who we are with. As usual, Bouwe Bekking said it straight: “We are someway, somehow, one big family in this race.”
December 2nd, 2014 by admin
Check out the moves from Martine Suffiatti-Grael, daughter of Brazil’s ultimate rock star sailor Torben Grael as she takes her first Sailor Chick of the Week award! The young Brazilian, with Kahena Kunze on the front, took the win yesterday by over 30 points as the Arenal Training Camp Trophy wrapped up in Palma. This event – the prelude to the Pricess Sofia Olympic Class event – has exploded in popularity recently despite a tiny budget, pulling a strong mix of next week’s World Cup competitors and young sailors who want to share the same line. The US team didn’t enter, though after Miami we have high hopes for them at next week’s event, and French and British sailors dominated the event with Spain taking some scalps as well, most notably in the 30-boat Nacra 17 class. Full results here.
In other Palma news, the World Cup re-branding continues to prove how incompetent ISAF can be, with costs continuing to explode, still more format changes for seemingly every event, and dismal worldwide interest except in a few sailing-crazed nations. To make matters worse, most of the live coverage from Palma promised to the public is now gone along with title sponsor MAPFRE; the Spanish company chose to spend their millions on a new Volvo Ocean Race campaign rather than throwing good money after bad on a dinghy regatta with a comparatively tiny ROI. This is the last year of the Palma event’s contract with sailing’s international overlords, and if the island still has to come up with the money that ISAF wants to remain part of the ‘World Cup” for 2015, our sources tell us the awesome Mediterranean venue will be out of the running. Frankly, as great a venue and event as the Palma regatta is, we’d be surprised if the event isn’t just as big without ISAF as it is with them.
- Tags: 49er FX, FX, ISAF World Cup, martine grael, martine soffiatti, mediterranean, Olympic Sailing, Palma, sailor chick of the week
March 17th, 2014 by admin
Like Colin Kaepernick in the frozen Midwest last week, Sailor Chick of the Week Laura Beigel (Annapolis, MD) shows off her guns despite a chilly and wet Saturday at Star Winter Series event number 3. Beigel, along with her aunt and longtime Star skipper/Class Exec Barbara Vosbury-Beigel pulled a nice midfleet finish of 14/22 on the weekend despite tipping the scales at about half the weight of most of the fleet. One-legged Brazilian badass Lars Grael/Sam Goncalves finally knocked Augie Diaz off the top spot in a regatta, but only on a tie-break; Augie continues to dominate the Series as the biggest event - the 26-boat, 8-nation, world champ and medal-filled Midwinters kicks off on Thursday. Hit up the Series Facebook Page for event reporting from our boy Clean, with more photos like this one from Meredith Block.
January 8th, 2014 by admin
You’ll be forgiven if you think Victoria’s Secret did a sailing shoot for their latest catalog, but it ain’t the case: Meet University of Hawaii FJ skipper/crew Kellie Yamada trying her hand at some Moth sailing after Worlds racing finished up last night. This Hawaiian native is not only one of the most drop-dead gorgeous Sailor Chicks of the Week we’ve ever had the privilege to show you, but she’s a bad-ass sailor chick with no fear and plenty of talent. She’s so fearless that, when Jonny Goldsberry rocked up to the Worlds media boat and offered a ride to the group, Kellie stripped off her shirt and shorts and jumped in the water wearing nothing but lingerie. ”I have GOT to give it a try,” she said, ignoring cameras and giving it her all. Now Kellie just needs a little more breeze…or not…we don’t really care so long as she keeps sailing.
October 17th, 2013 by admin
Known as “Red Lady” in Cruising Anarchy, Jessica is the ideal Sailor Chick of the Week, and exactly the kind of soul this sport needs more of. Far more than just a pretty face on a yacht, she’s an owner and liveaboard in the Big City.
She singlehands her boat, races on several other boats in many crew positions, and has a great time doing it.
She splices, does rigging, and can handle nearly every kind of boat maintenance that you can think of. And, she looks great doing it all. More impressively, she’s learned it all in just about a year.Keep rockin’ it, Jess! We’re proud of you!
October 9th, 2013 by admin
The first group of candidates for the all-women’s SCA Volvo Ocean Race team left Southhampton for their training base in Lanzarote yesterday, and judging from the quality of the sailors, this ain’t no publicity stunt-seeking campaign. You can check out some video of the departure here as well as words from some of the girls, including our favorite racer of all time; Sam Davies. Will our extreme disappointment losing Sam from the Vendee fleet deliver a silver lining in following the exploits of Cap’n Sam for the next two and a half years? One can only hope! We also hope that the second group of candidates – due in to the Canaries in a few weeks – will include at least one of our awesome American racers. Photo thanks to Rick Tomlinson/SCA.
February 3rd, 2013 by admin