Sailor of the Week: June 25 - July 1
Competitive sailing is unique in so many ways that separates it from other sports. The recreational athlete in other sports rarely gets the opportunity to compete with or against the best in the sport. The casual golfer doesn’t get the chance to play 18 holes with Tiger Woods, and LeBron James isn’t going one-on-one with the locals down at the YMCA.
Your average competitive sailor will occasionally sail against, or even crew for, some of the best sailors the sport has to offer. Vickie Matthews of Chicago, Ill. has taken full advantage of this accessibility to the top sailors in the world. She has sailed with several sailing greats including, Tom Allen, Sr., Ed Baird, Dave Curtis, Bruce Goldsmith, Tito Gonzales, Peter Isler, Buddy Melges, Ken Read, and Bill Shore. Earlier this month, Vickie crewed for Betsy Altman’s Mischief, who won the Etchell class competition at the Chicago NOOD Regatta.
Vickie was introduced to sailing at the young age of 3, and she started racing in high school. “Sailing was always a family activity that kept the family together,” explained Vickie. Vickie has a passion for the sport that goes beyond racing. She enjoys the cruising element of the sport. She also has an appreciation for race management and training. “I take pride in bringing others up to speed with boat sailing skills and race management skills,” she said. She will serve as the Principal Race Officer for the U.S. Team Racing Championship Area qualifiers, the J109 North American Championships, and the Assistant Principal Race Officer for the 101st Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac.
“I really appreciate the opportunity these sailors have given me. I’ve learned so much from them,” said Vickie. “They are all very generous with their time in helping others in the sport.”