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Daniela Moroz Joins US SailGP Team

Frequent Latitude 38 contributor Michelle Slade posted this story for the St. Francis Yacht Club Sailing Foundation yesterday:

Daniela Moroz, four-time Kitefoil World Champion and two-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, will join the US SailGP Team as they compete in sailing’s premier international racing championship SailGP for its second season. Moroz, who intends to launch a 2024 Olympic campaign in the new Formula Kite class, will join the eight other teams in Bermuda.

Daniela Moroz
Bay Area kiteboard phenom Daniela Moroz will soon be foiling on an F50 catamaran in Bermuda.
© 2021 Courtesy Daniela Moroz

From the San Francisco Bay Area, Moroz, 20, is one of two women (the other is Hawaii-based CJ Perez) selected by the US SailGP Team to join the roster this year.

“We were overwhelmed by the quality of athletes who applied, and our entire sailing team took part in the selection process,” said Jimmy Spithill, US SailGP Team helmsman. “Daniela brings to our team an impressive amount of foiling ability, which is paramount to racing at this level. We’re excited to welcome her to the roster and develop her talent further.”

In Bermuda, Moroz will learn as much as possible about SailGP’s racing platform, the F50 foiling catamaran, as part of a new athlete development program aimed at introducing her to the technical and athletic skills needed to operate the high-performance boat.

Moroz, a junior at the University of Hawaii, is thrilled to join the team, and has made the most of the short time since being selected to prepare for Bermuda.

“I took a much-needed break from kitefoiling last year, which really reignited the spark,” commented Moroz. “I’m now back in a consistent training regime, whether it be alone or with the US Sailing Team in various locations, and have been able to further focus my own foiling skills plus stay in great shape. I’ve been putting in time with sailors like Riley Gibbs, who has been a huge help in sharing audio and video training content and technical information on [boat] controls, which I’ll be studying going into Bermuda.” (Gibbs is a member of the US Olympic Sailing Team in the foiling Nacra 17 catamaran, and was wing trimmer for the US SailGP team in Season 1.)

Charlie McKee, who coached Moroz this past winter in Florida, noted, “This is a fantastic opportunity for Daniela! She is an elite athlete who performs at the very top of her sport. Her relentless quest for improvement makes her a great fit for SailGP. Her already impressive campaigning skills will be enhanced even further, and the rigorous performance quest and off-the-water analysis will raise the bar even further. She is already a proven winner on the international stage of high-performance sailing.”

Moroz looks forward to working in a professional environment at what is essentially the highest level of the sport, an invaluable learning opportunity.

“It was one I couldn’t pass up,” Moroz stated. “I’ll be able to apply this learning to my Olympic campaign and so much more down the road. I’m excited to support the team as best I can and be the best teammate I can be. Hopefully, this will give us a chance to turn around American sailing and show the world what we’re capable of!”

Daniela and CJ complete the US SailGP Team crew lineup, which includes Rome Kirby, Andrew Campbell, Cooper Dressler, Paul Campbell-James and Alex Sinclair — all handpicked by Jimmy Spithill. The team also acquired Philippe Presti as head coach. SailGP Season 2 will kick off in Bermuda on April 24-25. We’ll post a preview earlier that week. — ed.

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