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U.S. Olympic Sailing Program Names Spanhake Technical Director

Sailing technology expert brings experience from Olympic Games, America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race

Grant Spanhake_technical directorPortsmouth, R.I. (January 24, 2013) – Furthering its commitment to surround sailors with expertise and knowledge, US Sailing’s Olympic Sailing Program named Grant "Fuzz" Spanhake (Annapolis, Md.) Technical Director of the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. Spanhake will work directly with High Performance Director Charlie McKee to direct the performance program in the Olympic and Paralympic classes. Spanhake brings top-level experience as sail designer, trimmer and technical expert across six America’s Cup campaigns, four Round the World races and two Olympic Games with Team GBR and one with Team Greece.

“To return the U.S. back to the podium in sailing, the Team is focused on performance development across the Olympic and Paralympic classes and a class by class strategy to sharpen the U.S.’s culture of technical excellence,” said Charlie McKee, High Performance Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing. “This knowledge will be shared with all U.S. sailors mounting a campaign for 2016 and beyond as we groom emerging talent for the long run.”

Spanhake will begin his role with US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami this week. “I’m really excited to get to work,” said Spanhake, who also is a member of the North Sails Performance Research Group (PRG), advising and designing sails for professional teams. With the Team, he will oversee all aspects of technical development, with a particular emphasis on rigs and sails. “We’ll do our best to get the sailors the very best technology the U.S. can provide,” he added.

About US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider
The US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider is managed by the United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for the sport of sailing and sailboat racing. The top boats in each Olympic and Paralympic class are selected annually to be members of the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. US Sailing supports these elite athletes with funding, coaching and training. The title sponsor of the team is Sperry Top-Sider; other sponsors include Harken Team McLube. Oakcliff Sailing is an official training center.

The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.

 

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Press contact: Dana Paxton, US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider, 401-683-0800 x615, danapaxton@ussailing.org