Youth Sailing Foundation welcomes aboard Ben Chafee as Sailing Director. Ben comes to Vero Beach from Winter Park Florida where he was Head Coach of the Rollins College Sailing Team.
Ben grew-up sailing on Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island. A 2016 graduate of Eckerd College with a degree in Environmental Sciences, Ben sailed collegiately for the Tritons from their sailing center on Tampa Bay. In his senior year, Ben won the David White Jr. Memorial Award: Given in Recognition of the Intercollegiate Sailor Exemplifying the Virtues of Good Sportsmanship and Competitive Spirit.
Prior to his assignment at Rollins, Ben held high-profile sailing instructor assignments at the Ida Lewis Sailing Center in Newport RI, Wayzata Community Sailing Center in Minnesota, Nantucket Community Sailing; and Sail to Prevail, the National Disabled Sailing Program in Newport RI. Ben served as helmsman on ocean yachts in prestigious races such as the Caribbean 600 which attracts over seventy yachts and 600 sailors from 34 nations. Before starting that race, Ben sailed the yacht 2,000 miles from Annapolis to Antigua.
At YSF Ben will lead a team of six professional sailing instructors conducting ten junior sailing programs, from beginner through advanced racing, with over 130 sailors enrolled. He will oversee YSF’s Adaptive Sailing Program for those in our community with special needs and YSF’s adult learn to sail and boat rental programs. YSF travels annually to over twenty local, state, and national regattas. Ben will supervise preparation and logistics and travel to many, to personally coach YSF’s junior sailors.
Youth Sailing Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit with a mission to bring the benefits of sailing to the children of Indian River County cost free. Stu Keiller, Executive Director, said of Ben Chafee’s appointment: “We are pleased to welcome Ben aboard. With his extensive sailing background, especially in community and special needs sailing, Ben brings the passion and skills to make significant contributions to YSF’s continued growth and success.”