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Emily Zugnoni and Charlie McKee Receive US Sailing Awards

Bay Area sailor Emily Zugnoni and two-time Olympic medalist Charlie McKee are among 16 sailors who received a US Sailing’s Association Award in a special edition of US Sailing’s Starboard Portal — individuals and organizations in the areas of Adaptive Sailing, Community Sailing, Training and Education, and Coaching Excellence were honored for their contributions to the sport of sailing in the United States during 2021.

Emily Zugnoni is the program director at Alameda Community Sailing Center (ACSC). She grew up sailing on the Estuary and San Francisco Bay aboard her grandfather’s Tartan 30 Lelo Too, and at age 20 began her professional sailing career by attaining her Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Credential and becoming an instructor with ACSC. Emily is now the recipient of US Sailing’s Outstanding Program Director Award.

In announcing the awards yesterday, US Sailing described Emily as “a dedicated community member who has made a significant impact on the culture at the organization and on everyone who has the pleasure of walking through their gates.” In her role at ACSC, Emily has been instrumental in improving the organization’s programs by introducing courses and training such as safe powerboat handling, STEM education activities, and social-emotional learning techniques, along with numerous US Sailing courses. She has also created a popular sailing program for girls, which incorporates sailing instruction, STEM and leadership. “Emily Zugnoni’s stewardship of sail training in her community is impressive and admirable, she empowers staff to reach their greatest potential, provides a safe environment and demonstrates excellent leadership,” US Sailing wrote.

Emily Zugnoni
Pictured here taking some kids out for a sail while teaching in Florida, Emily’s favorite thing about teaching sailing is “watching students, whether they’re 7 or 70 years old, conquer their fears or self-doubt on the boat and start taking charge and trusting their capabilities.”
© 2022 Emily Zugnoni

Charlie McKee is a professional sailor and coach, currently based in Hood, OR. Charlie’s first experience as an Olympic sailor was in 1984, and his first medal win (bronze) was at the Seoul Olympics in 1988. In 1992 he coached the US windsurfers for the Barcelona Olympics. At the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, Charlie teamed up with his brother Jonathan to sail the (then) new 49ers, and the pair won bronze. US Sailing has honored Charlie with the National Coach of the Year Award. The award recognizes Charlie’s devotion to “introducing and fostering the new (to the Olympics) foiling Kite class to Olympic level campaigning.”

In his role as kite foiling coach for the US Sailing Team, Charlie has been instrumental in formulating the kite foil squad and preparing the team for its 2024 Olympic campaign. Charlie coached Californian Daniela Moroz, along with four other kite foilers, ahead of Moroz’s victory in the 2021 Formula Kite European Championships, held in Montpellier, France, and her win at the following World Championships in Sardinia, Italy. In the awards’ press release, US Sailing added, “Charlie’s attention to safety was also a key factor in the success. Managing high speeds, competitive juices, safe launching, coach boat support, and injury support are of the utmost importance in today’s new world of high performance.

Moroz after win
Coach Charlie McKee, standing, watches as Daniela Moroz and Markus Edegran “fist bump” immediately following Daniela’s final race, which secured her the win at the 2021 Formula Kite European Championships in France.
© 2022 Alex Schwarz

You can read more about Emily Zugnoni, Charlie McKee and the other award winners at US

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