Sailor of the Week: Feb. 25 - March 3
US SAILING recently hired Frank Ustach of Redwood City, Calif. as the new junior championships coach. This position is responsible for organizing the clinics and coaching staff for the four major US SAILING youth championship events, including the U.S. Youth Sailing Championships, Chubb U.S. Junior Championships, U.S. Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship, and U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship.
The position is extremely important to US SAILING’s unwavering commitment to the development of youth sailing in the U.S. Frank was quick to point out that many of the top collegiate, national, and Olympic sailors today have participated and even won some of these US SAILING National Championships.
“They are our future All-America selections, US Youth World Team members, US Sailing Team members, and Olympians,” said Frank. “It’s great to be part of the beginning of that road for them, and hopefully I can help them along their way.”
Frank comes to US SAILING with an impressive coaching resume. Currently, he is the assistant coach at Stanford University. He has been the program director and head coach at the Chicago Yacht Club. Frank is a certified US SAILING Level 1 & 2 Coach and is a US SAILING Powerboat Certified Instructor.
Sailing entered Frank’s life by chance. When he was in the fifth grade, one of Frank’s good friend’s crew bailed on him before a local N-10 Turnabout class regatta. He asked Frank to crew for him, despite never having set foot in a sailboat. They ended up finishing in a respectable position considering the circumstances. Later that night, Frank remembers having a great time at the regatta dance hosted by the yacht club. This made him wonder why he never thought about getting into the sport before. From that point on he continued to crew, and eventually started sailing as the skipper his junior year in high school.
Frank viewed himself as a run of the mill junior sailor who competed in high school and in local summer events until sailing at Boston College from 2001 to 2005.
“In college sailing, you do so many starts, tacks, and jibes - and see so many different venues and conditions - that you learn how to adapt to all the variables our sport throws at you,” mentioned Frank.
Frank pursued a 49er Olympic campaign from 2004 to 2007 and has been a member of the Woonsocket Rockets team racing squad since 2006.
Frank loves racing, but he really appreciates the life-long lessons you can learn from sailing. “You learn the value of taking responsibility for your actions with self the self policing of our sport, how to properly care for your possessions, and make friends with even with your fiercest competitors,” he added.
“Our sport is unique. It allows ten year olds to compete against 50 year olds and be competitive… Where else can you see that?”