Kenneth Andreasen Named High Performance Director; Gary Bodie Retires
US SAILING Names Kenneth Andreasen as New High Performance Director of Olympic Program
Gary Bodie Retires After 10 Years of Success
Portsmouth, R.I. (September 24, 2008) – Kenneth Andreasen (Tampa, Fla.) has been named the new High Performance Director of the Olympic Sailing Program, US SAILING, national governing body for the sport, announced today. His responsibilities will include managing all on-the-water elements of the Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Programs and enabling sailors to reach the highest level of competition for the next Olympic and Paralympic quadrenniums. Andreasen joins Chairman Dean Brenner (Wallingford, Conn.) and Olympic Director Katie Kelly (Barrington, R.I.) on the executive team.
Andreasen replaces Gary Bodie (Hampton, Va.), who is retiring this fall after serving as the program's first High Performance Director for the last decade. Bodie has been instrumental in transforming the Olympic Sailing Program from an amateur sport to a year-round, full-time, professional sport. When Bodie first took on the challenge, most sailors only sailed three major, international regattas: the World Championship in their respective class, US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR and the Olympic Games. "We needed to enable, encourage and incentivize the sailors to train year round and to compete against major international athletes," said Bodie. "You can't get to the elite level competing in your own backyard."
Thanks to Bodie and the support of the Olympic Sailing Program, serious sailors now compete full-time around the world, competing at the biggest, most competitive international regattas in the world. In order to make sailing year-round possible, Bodie helped revamp a new ranking system for each class, which eradicated criss-crossing the United States to compete at ranking regattas. While the Olympic program raised more money to fund travel and logistics, Bodie organized shipping and implemented quality, in-depth coaching for all the athletes. He, along with US SAILING coaches, focused on spending a substantial amount of time with sailors in order to make a real difference in their sailing and their Olympic campaigns. As a result, the quality of sailing has substantially increased, proven by 11 podium finishes in 2008, not to mention a gold and silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games.
Bodie will not be a stranger to US SAILING: He will continue his role as the delegate to the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) where he serves as the US SAILING/ISAF liaison on several committees. He will also continue to organize US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR, a Sailing World Cup event that has become a must-sail regatta for top international competitors every January.
"It's been a wonderful ride. I wouldn't trade a minute of it," said Bodie, who looks forward to sailing his trimaran for the first time in three years. "It's time for the program to have some fresh ideas and energy, so I'm really excited for Kenneth. He's the right guy and he'll bring all that."
"I have some big shoes to fill," said Andreasen. "Gary Bodie has taken the program very far from where it was 10 years ago, and I hope to be able to further build on his successes and take it to the next level."
Andreasen brings more than 20 years of extensive coaching experience to US SAILING. He was first tapped for his coaching talent when he was only a teenager living in Denmark. After 10 years of coaching in Denmark, he moved to the United States in 1994 to become the coach at the St Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida. Five years later, he became the Director of Sailing at the United States Optimist Dinghy Association (USODA), where he coached the national team, trained regatta management, and was instrumental in fleet and class building. In 2006, Finn sailor Zach Railey called Andreasen to coach him in his Olympic campaign for the 2008 Olympic Games in China. After two years of hard work, intense training, dedication and impressive international results, Railey succeeded in bringing home an Olympic silver medal last month from Qingdao, China.
In his new position at US SAILING, Andreasen plans to focus on discovering the keys to unlocking each sailor's potential for success, based on their individual needs, skill sets and experiences. Andreasen's formal education in physical training and psychology has helped form his strong ability to tackle the physical and mental game of sailing at the Olympic and Paralympic level. An integral part of the process, he says, is guiding sailors to make their own decisions and leading them down a path of what will work for them. "I'm very good at getting sailors ready for what they need to do, he said.
Another goal is to build a strong team atmosphere where sailors and coaches share information together as a team. “There are so many talented sailors on the team,” he said. “Everyone has a lesson someone else can learn from. If we can collectively share our experiences and learn from our teammates, it will inevitably make us better as a team."
"Sailing is, and has been, my life," said Andreasen. "It has given me so many experiences. I have visited so many places around the world I never would have visited otherwise. I have been honored to be involved with so many talented sailors and coaches from whom I have learned valuable lessons. I think we can learn from sailors from different cultures and mindsets, and put together an incredibly competitive program."
Andreasen lives in Tampa, Florida, with his wife, Annette, and their two-year-old son, Nicklas.
For more information about the US Olympic Sailing Program, please visit: olympics.ussailing.org/Olympics.htm
About the US SAILING Olympic Sailing Program
The athletes of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Team are selected, trained, and managed by US SAILING, national governing body for the sport of sailing. The top three athletes in each Olympic and Paralympic class are part of the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, the organization provides leadership for the sport of sailing in the United States. For more information about the athletes of the U.S. Olympic Team for Sailing, please visit www.ussailing.org.