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Brad Webb Speaks to SailSFBay

Brad Webb celebrates after Oracle’s victory in America’s Cup 34.

© 2014 Oracle Team USA

Right next to AT&T Park, between the Giants’ fabulous victory on Wednesday and Friday’s parade, SailSFBay managed to slip in a Thursday-night meeting at South Beach Yacht Club to discuss growing sailing participation in the Bay Area and to hear Brad Webb describe his rewarding path up the ladder of sailing.

Brad Webb, bowman for the twice-victorious America’s Cup Oracle team, has led a stellar sailing career competing all over the world, including in six America’s Cups. But, like so many sailors, his path into sailing started in a small, local club in New Zealand aboard small (7-ft 7-in LOA) P-Class boats. From there, a lot of sailing, persistence and hard work, and a bit of luck, moved him into the big leagues.

During a welcome talk for a 25th memorial for Tom Blackaller aboard his IACC yacht, USA-76, Brad described his desire to share the AC experience and sailing with more people. He expanded on those thoughts at SBYC to help the audience understand the pathway and role models that inspired him. He noted a number of strengths in sailing – teamwork, social interaction, and, among so many sailors that helped him, a willingness to give back. He suggested that youth sailing programs focus on ‘progression rather than promotion’ – helping youth progress into more areas within sailing such as aboard keelboats.

To continue its mission of growing participation in sailing next year, SailSFBay will start 2015 with a booth at the San Francisco Boat Show in January and at April’s Strictly Sail Pacific. It will also promote the 30+ events in Northern California that invite people to come out and try sailing on Summer Sailstice. Learn more about SailSFBay at

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