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Other Testimonials

Featured Testimonial

by Fred Stammer

Steve Davis and Fred Stammer
(L to R) Steve Davis, Lightning Class President and Fred Stammer

By the end of May, I was incredibly eager to get on the water and begin training in the Lightning. I had spent the last four weeks helping my coach and team prepare for Collegiate Sailing Nationals and although I was emotionally and physically exhausted from those three events, I was motivated by our team's success to begin working toward my summer sailing goals. After a week training in Newport, RI, Charlotte Sims, my forward crew, and I headed west to Cedar Point Yacht Club for the Connecticut/Rhode Island Districts. With only a few days to go before the event, I was anxious to sail but nervous as Mark Bryant was telling me about all the exceptional sailors that I needed to compete against in order to make it to nationals. Even with the double quota granted to this district, I was anxious since I have sailed less than eight Lightning regattas. Luckily, I had the opportunity to visit Mark in Rye, NY before the event since he was coaching Mark LeBlanc and Julio Reguero at the U.S. 2.4mR Nationals. Mark invited Charlotte and I on his coach boat to watch the last day of racing and I accepted knowing that just watching and thinking about the racing would give me important information about sailing on Long Island Sound and put my head in the right place to for my event.

Charlotte and I arrived early in the morning and after quick introductions with Mark's sailors, we were off on the coach boat idling out to the start. On our way out to the course Mark gave me an update on how the event was going. Both of his sailors were doing well and Mark LeBlanc had the chance to win the event over our Nation's 2.4mR class representative, John Ruf. I could tell LeBlanc was excited to win his first national championship, and as I watched him go through his prerace preparations I knew that he had a chance. Reading his body language and how he and Mark communicated, I knew that he was channeling his excited energy in a positive way. He was focused on the small goals before him and not caught up on the big picture. Even more powerful was the communication between him and Mark. Their conversation consisted of no more than what the weather was doing and his objective for that race, and LeBlanc downloaded and processed the information efficiently and smoothly. By the start of the warning signal for the first race, I was excited to see this sailor perform.

Race after race went by with this smooth, efficient communication and sailing taking place. I was impressed with how well the Marks worked with each other. Even when it became clear that LeBlanc needed to take John Ruf out at the start and win the race in order to win, there was no hesitation or doubt by either Mark. Watching that final race was incredible. To watch an athlete perform in their element is an exhilarating experience and for that hour I was vicariously sailing through LeBlanc. Watching Mark LeBlanc sail to victory at the U.S. 2.4mR Nationals casted away all my worries and inhibitions about my upcoming regatta and I looked eagerly towards my event carrying the energy of victory that both Mark Bryant and Mark LeBlanc achieved at the Nationals.