Sailor of the Week - March 4 - March 11
This week’s Sailor of the Week, Kim Hapgood of Newport, RI had an important decision to make when she approached the crossroads of her career as a young professional when, after receiving her undergraduate degree in political science from Brandeis University, she pondered her next move. Kim initially decided to follow a more traditional career path; she earned a master’s degree in higher education administration from Columbia University and was hired by the school’s Barnard College to serve as the associate dean for student life. But eventually, she realized that by combining her love of sailing with her educational background, she was ideally suited to work with community sailing programs. She started as executive director at US SAILING’s Center of Martin County in Jensen Beach, FL and after two years relocated to Newport, where she has been the program director, at Sail Newport for the past 14 years.
Kim started sailing with her dad in a Sunfish on Lake Michigan, Chicago when she was only four years old. After moving to London, England at 11 she raced International 420s and was quite competitive. When she returned to the U.S., Kim began coaching young sailors during summers which served to fuel her desire to work in the sailing industry. Today, she lives sailing both personally and professionally; whether she is chairing a meeting for a program committee or helping to run a ladder event on her day off. Kim spends a considerable amount of time dedicated to sharing experiences and insight with volunteers and staff from programs and yacht clubs across the country and dedicates time to the training community as well. Her well-rounded involvement in the many facets of sailing helps her to understand the commitment level needed to grow the sport. “The return on my volunteer time helps me to see everything from the improved quality of instructor applicants who apply to work at Sail Newport to the quality of educational materials we provide the students who come here to learn about better, safer race management,” said Kim.