Friday, February 13, 2009

Chesapeake Racer Profile -- Lorie Stout

Spinsheet is a sailing magazine based out of Annapolis (about three blocks away from APS, actually) that covers racing and cruising on the Chesapeake and across parts of the Mid-Atlantic.

Each month, APS sponsors the "Chesapeake Racer Profile" in Spinsheet -- this profile focuses on a local sailor who actively races or promotes the sport of sailboat racing in the area. Past profiles have featured locals like Terry Hutchinson (yeah, I've never heard of him either...), Sandy Grosvenor (world-class P.R.O.) and local junior sailors who won the Sears Cup for Annapolis Yacht Club.

This month, we're featuring Lorie Stout. Some of you may know the name from the race course and her numerous successes there. What many of you may not know is the steps she is taking to get the next generation of sailors out on the water.

Seven years ago, when her kids were getting serious about racing, Stout stepped in to build the SSA junior program committee and began working to bring high school kids into sailing, starting with the Archbishop Spalding High School, which now boasts a 30-person sailing team.

In 2006, she stepped in to coordinate the fledgling Team Tsunami, now called Chessie Jr. Racing, a community, big boat sailing program for young sailors ranging from beginners to skilled racers. Forty-seven kids went through the program in 2008, a number due to increase to 55 in 2009.

U.S. Sailing is studying the Chessie Jr. Racing program as a potential model for a national template for sailing communities. Stout is currently directing Annapolis Community Boating, a grassroots effort to increase access to boating by pulling the resources and ideas of various recreational, educational, and youth organizations.

Click here to read the rest of the profile on Lorie Stout.

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