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Junior sailors graduate, get a lesson from a ‘rock star’

Last weekend, 25 young women sailors traveled to the Rochester Yacht Club in Rochester, N.Y., to take place in the Next Step to Rolex Program. The young women, ranging in age from 14-17 and representing junior programs from across the U.S. and as far away as Hawaii, were selected to participate in the once-of-a-lifetime keelboat clinic, the core outreach program of US Sailing's Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship, scheduled for Oct. 7-10 at RYC. Organized by 1988 U.S. Olympian and two-time winner of the Rolex IWKC Cory Sertl, the weekend featured all-day clinics with the focus on making the transition from dinghies to keelboats.

"The girls really came with a lot of experience in different kinds of boats," said Sertl, noting that the caliber of sailors participating was more advanced than when she first coached the program, in 2001. "They picked things up quickly and we got more accomplished than we ever thought we would."

In addition to Sertl, a two-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, coaches included Sertl's Rolex IWKC crew Amy Moran, along with 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist and US SAILING's 2008 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), Justin DaMore, RYC's sailing director Jon Faudree and RYC's junior sailing director Liz Bower.

2009 Next Step to Rolex Program participants:

1. Lindsey Andrade, Kaneohe Yacht Club

2. Jennifer Borshoff, Rochester Yacht Club

3. Claire Brodie, Rochester Yacht Club

4. Rachel Bryer, Conanicut Yacht Club

5. Jaimie Chicoine, Hoover Sailing Club

6. Kelsey Corbishley, Rochester YC

7. Katia DaSilva, East Greenwich Yacht Club/FAST

8. Arielle deLisser, Coral Reef Yacht Club / Barnegat Light Yacht Club

9. Kayla Ellis, Brant Beach Yacht Club

10. Olivia Graham, Rochester Yacht Club

11. Abby Hartmann, Port Madison YC

12. Emma Huntress, Rochester Yacht Club

13. Emily Johnson, Grosse Pointe Yacht Club

14. Christine Moloney, Buffalo  Canoe Club

15. Merritt Moran, Rochester Yacht Club

16. Kayla Oak, Buffalo Canoe Club

17. Sarah Redmond, Bainbridge High School Sailing Team

18. Abby Rohman, Beach Point Club/Lisot

19. Kendall Sanson, Port Madison Yacht Club

20. Taylor Scheuermann, Coral Reef Yacht Club

21. Katja Sertl, Rochester YC

22. Sarah Stubbs, American Yacht Club

23. Linnhe Thomson, Rochester Yacht Club

24. Julia Wiesner, Rochester Yacht Club

25. Lindsay Wright, Buffalo Canoe Club

For information about the 2009 Next Step to Rolex Program, contact Cory Sertl at or the Rochester Yacht Club at 585-342-5511. To follow the 2009 Rolex IWKC, visit or follow