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Sailing - 09. November 2007.


LaPorte, Texas (November 8, 2007) – This weekend, November 9-11, Houston Yacht Club will host 27 young women sailors from all corners of the U.S. at the Next Step to Rolex Program. As a key initiative of US SAILING’s Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship – scheduled for November 14-17 at Houston Yacht Club – the three-day camp introduces youth sailors to keelboat sailing in a mentoring atmosphere with the goal of one day seeing the graduates on the starting line of the international regatta.

“Most junior sailors learn to sail in small singlehanded or doublehanded boats called dinghies,” said Joanne Kolius, the Next Step to Rolex Program chairperson. “Many never get the chance to sail on a larger boat such as the J/80 keelboats being used this weekend. Our goal is to help them take the next step in their sailing education by learning the skills required and to get a sense of the team work that goes into handling such a boat.”

The junior women sailors, 13 to 17 years old, applied to the program over the summer and submitted written essays about their desire to participate in the Next Step to Rolex Program, along with a letter of recommendation from a sailing coach or instructor. “They are all very motivated to be here,” said Kolius. “Although they each have a different sailing background, I’m confident every one of these young women will take away a special experience based on the activities we have planned for them.”


2007 Next Step to Rolex Program participants:

1. Katherine Andril, Annapolis, MD

2. Hannah Callahan, Dallas, TX

3. Killian Corbishley, Rochester, NY

4. Alexa Cavalieri, Annapolis, MD

5. Jennifer Davis, Coronado, CA

6. Julie Gardner, Rochester, NY

7. Kayla Gibson, Houston, TX

8. Sarah Davis, Coronado, CA

9. Caroline Hall, Brick, NJ

10. Winter Hawley, Sheboygan, WI

11. Melany Johnson, Brant Beach, NJ

12. Christina Kvistad, Westrbrook, CT

13. Christina Lewis, Fort Lauderdale, FL

14. Marissa Lihan, Fort Lauderdale, FL

15. Grace Lucas, Bay Head, NJ

16. Chanel Miller, Fort Lauderdale, FL

17. Merritt Moran, Rochester, NY

18. Kelden Pehr, Houston, TX

19. Megan Place, Fort Lauderdale, FL

20. Jane Rew, Bay Head, NJ

21. Amanda Salvesen, Annapolis, MD

22. Ainsley Thomson, Irondequit, NY

23. Linnhe Thomson, Irondequit, NY

24. Rebekka Urbina, Galveston, TX

25. Aris Walker, Westrbrook, CT

26. Caroline Warren, Charleston, SC

27. Sarah Williams, Bay Head, NJ

The Next Step to Rolex Program was established in 1997 to expose juniors to advanced women’s sailing in a mentoring atmosphere. Since its creation as a complementary component of the Rolex IWKC, the Next Step to Rolex Program has served as an inspiration for hundreds of young women from across the U.S. and abroad. For more information about the Next Step to Rolex Program or the Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship, please visit www.ussailing.org/riwkc or the event website www.riwkc.com

About the Rolex IWKC: Inaugurated in 1985 at the instigation of US SAILING's Women’s Championship Committee, the Rolex IWKC quickly became the premier women’s sailing event in the U.S. and worldwide. Held biennially, the event provides women keelboat and offshore sailors high quality racing and an opportunity to compete with top national and international women sailors. The winning team will receive US SAILING’s Bengt Julin Trophy.

The Rolex IWKC title sponsor is Rolex Watch U.S.A. Other sponsorships to date include: Platinum level - James & Camille Tichenor, Vince & Margaretta Morvillo for Sea Lake Yacht Sales, and Societe Generale; Gold level - Kirby Inland Marine, Port of Houston Authority, Channel and Lynchburg Shipyards; Silver level - Sterling Bank, Houston Pilot's Association, Segue Websites, Mount Gay Rum, Veolia Water and KO Sailing. The Rolex IWKC is part of the US SAILING Championships calendar and hosted by the Houston Yacht Club.

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